What Are SDEs? What You Should Know As The Results Come In
For the first time, the Iowa Democratic Party is going to be releasing three separate results at the same time at the end of the night.
The percentage of the SDEs won is traditionally how a “winner” is determined. NPR relies on the Associated Press to call elections. AP will project a winner of the Iowa caucuses based on the SDE calculation. One reason for this is not just tradition but because this is the contest the campaigns play for; it is the truer measure of the campaigns’ organizational strength.
Simply put, SDEs are not delegates. But with some math, SDEs are converted to the proportional amount of delegates a candidate gets in each precinct.
There are 2,107 total SDEs up for grabs on caucus night in Iowa. Here’s the formula: Take the number of people in a candidate’s corner at the end of the second (and final) round, multiply that by the number of delegates assigned to the precinct and then divide that by the total number of caucusgoers at the site.
So if Biden hypothetically gets 20% in a precinct that awards 40 delegates, and 100 people showed up, the math looks like this:
Eight is the number of SDEs Biden would win out of this particular caucus site. Add that to his other SDEs from the other 1,677 caucus locations for an eventual statewide total.