Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar dropped out just before Super Tuesday. They had already won delegates in the first few states.
Buttigieg won 26 delegates and Klobuchar won seven. That’s 33 delegates between them.
Following their decisions to suspend their campaigns, we’ve had a lot of people ask us what happens to their delegates.
What happens to the delegates of the candidates who dropped out?
Nothing. They will participate in the Democratic National Convention the same way they would if their candidate was still in the race.
WHAT WE FOUND
The rules for the Democratic National Convention do not specifically state what happens to delegates of candidates that dropped out, but they do stress that the pledged delegates -- the delegates won in state primaries -- reflect the will of the voters.
Only pledged delegates can vote in the first round of voting and pledged delegates are just that, pledged to a specific candidate.
In the second round of voting, should the convention need a second round, unpledged delegates (often called superdelegates) can enter the fray and can vote for whoever they want.
Pledged delegates are picked by the candidates they are supposed to vote for. So it’s unlikely that a pledged delegate will move away from their candidate in the subsequent rounds unless their candidate has dropped out or has agreed to back another candidate.
There are certain states that clarify exactly how a delegate should vote in the primary process. Neither Iowa nor New Hampshire, the two states Buttigieg and Klobuchar won delegates in, have these laws.