With the Kansas caucuses just days away, some voters may wonder how much their vote actually affects the presidential nomination for the Republicans and Democrats.
It’s probably more than you’d think.
Kansas is the fifth most influential caucus for both parties, according to a new calculator by Time Labs, which is part of Time magazine.
How do I caucus?
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The Kansas caucuses are Saturday. Republicans vote through secret ballot, while Democrats vote by standing in groups.
Those who wish to participate in the Democratic caucus can register to vote or change their party affiliation at the caucus. Registration will begin at 1 p.m., and the caucus will start at 3. Democrats must go to the caucus site in their state Senate district. To determine what Senate district you live in, look on your voter registration card or go to http://www.kansasdems.org/where-to-caucus.
To vote in the Republican caucus, you had to be a registered Republican by Feb. 4. Take a government-issued ID to the caucus. Ballots can be cast between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sedgwick County voters will hold their caucus at Century II in Wichita. Butler County Republicans will vote at the Butler County Commission building, 206 N. Griffith in El Dorado. Republicans can attend a caucus at any of 102 sites across the state, although participants are urged to do so in their home county if possible.
How does the calculator work?
It estimates the ratio of pledged delegates to voters, using historical data. Those states with higher ratios are considered more influential.
The calculator also considers when a state holds its caucuses or primaries. The earlier the primary or caucus, the more influential it is. That’s because more delegates haven’t been allocated yet.
“Turnout is estimated by the higher turnout figure of the last two contested primaries in each party: 2008 or 2012 for Republicans and 2004 or 2008 for Democrats,” according to the calculator.
Impact for Republicans
Kansas will award 40 pledged delegates in 2016 toward the Republican nomination.
The state had a voter turnout of just under 30,000 for the Republican caucus in 2012, with 1.34 delegates per 1,000 voters. Kansas is the 17th state to vote in the Republican race. There will still be nearly 69 percent of the delegates left, according to the calculator.
Impact for Democrats
Party officials eventually will allocate 33 of Kansas’ 37 delegates based on the caucus results.
The state had a voter turnout of more than 36,000 in 2008, with 0.9 delegates per 1,000 voters. Kansas is the 16th state to vote in a Democratic caucus, when there will still be nearly 75 percent of delegates left, according to the calculator.
Top five states for the Republican nomination
2. District of Columbia
Top five states for the Democratic nomination