Q&A on the News

Q: The AJC did a fine job in reporting Iowa Caucus results, but what does it mean? Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are in a virtual tie. Does this mean each will get half the Iowa delegates to the Democratic convention? On the Republican side, how will the delegates be split?

—Oscar G. Price Jr., Marietta

A: The Republican candidates received a share of the delegates in proportion to their share of the vote.

Ted Cruz won 27.6 percent of the vote and eight delegates, ahead of Donald Trump (24.3 percent) and Marco Rubio (23.1), who received seven delegates each. Ben Carson received three and other candidates won one each.

The Democratic split is “less set in stone,” Josh Putnam, a political science lecturer at the University of Georgia, told Q&A on the News in an email.

He maintains Frontloading HQ (frontloading.blogspot.com), an elections blog.

The caucuses in Iowa were the first step in a “complex” system that will end with a state convention.

“That state convention will, in turn, select delegates to attend to the national convention,” Putnam wrote. “All that means is that the intermediary steps offer the potential for the campaigns to push a few more supporters on to the next step in a way that can change the (delegate) estimate from the caucuses.”

Hillary Clinton, who won Iowa’s Democratic caucus, received 23 delegates to 21 for Bernie Sanders.

Iowa’s superdelegates remain unpledged, meaning they can “support whomever they please, regardless of the results of the caucuses.”

“The simple answer is that that count really hasn’t been decided yet,” Putnam wrote.

Andy Johnston with Fast Copy News Service wrote this column. Do you have a question? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).