2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries facts for kids

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2012 United States 2020
Democratic Party presidential primaries, 2016
February 1 – June 14, 2016
US Democratic Party Logo.svg
Hillary Clinton official Secretary of State portrait crop.jpg Bernie Sanders.jpg
Candidate Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders
Home state New York Vermont
Contests won 28+5T+DC 22+DA
2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries

First place (popular vote or delegate count)


Delegate count consists of projections.

The 2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries and caucuses are taking place in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. It takes place before to the 2016 general election to elect the Democratic Party's nominee for the Presidency of the United States. These primaries and caucuses are held between February 1 and June 14. Current president and 2012 nominee, Barack Obama, can not stand for re-election due to term limits under the Twenty-second Amendment.


Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State, decided to run for president in April 2015. Clinton had served as a U.S. Senator (2001–09) and was the First Lady of the U.S. (1993–2001). A January 2013 Washington PostABC News poll showed that she had high popularity among the American public. This polling data made many political pundits and observers to anticipate that Clinton would launch a second presidential bid in 2016, entering the race as the early front-runner for the Democratic nomination.

On May 26, 2015, Independent U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders officially announced his run as a presidential candidate for the Democratic nomination, after an informal announcement in April that year, and speculation since early 2014. Sanders had served as Mayor of Burlington, Vermont (1981–1989), as Vermont's sole U.S. Representative (1991–2007), and as Vermont's junior Senator (2007–present). Bernie Sanders is currently seen as the biggest rival to Hillary Clinton, backed up by a strong grassroots campaign and social media following. His campaign picked up attention and mass support. However, in recent poll numbers, Clinton is leading Saunders nationally by 12.7 percent.

In May 2015, Maryland governor Martin O'Malley announced his campaign. He withdrew after the Iowa primaries. Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee announced his campaign in June 2015. After poor polling numbers, he dropped out before the primaries in October 2015. Former Virginia senator Jim Webb announced his campaign in the summer of 2015. He dropped out in October 2015 after a poor debate performance. Professor Lawrence Lessig announced his campaign in September 2015. He dropped out a month later after poor polling numbers.


Superdelegates are elected officials and members of the Democratic National Committee who will vote at the Democratic National Convention for their favorite candidate. Also known as "unpledged delegates," they may change their candidate at any time and talk about one sixth of the delegates to the convention. The table and list below show the current support.

Distinguished party leaders Governors Senators Representatives DNC members Totals
Hillary Clinton 10 16 39 166 247 478
Bernie Sanders 1 0 2 8 29 40
Martin O'Malley 0 0 0 0 1 1
No endorsement 9 5 6 19 157 196
Totals 20 21 47 193 434 715

Note: Democrats Abroad Superdelegates are assigned half-votes; each of them accounts for ½ rather than 1 in the table above.


Democratic Party presidential primaries results by county, 2016
     Hillary Clinton      Bernie Sanders      Tie

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