Thursday, March 17, 2016

How Trump will get the Post-March 15 Delegates He Needs to Win the GOP Nomination

     As of March 15, Donald Trump has gained 693 of the 1,237 delegates he’ll need to win the Republican presidential nomination, putting him 544 delegates short of his goal.  With only 1,041 delegates still up for grabs, he’ll have to win at least 53% of the remaining delegates before he can grab the nomination.  How can he do it?
     I poured over many opinion polls and finally settled on an on-line polling site called isidewith.com.  Isidewith.com has two major advantages: It’s fairly consistent with other polls, and—unlike other polls—it’s updated every few minutes.
     The chart you see below was actually my working paper; but I saw no reason to redo it.  If you find any errors, please let me know.  Now let’s jump into my findings.
(Click image for full-size image)
     As I said, Trump has already won 693 of the 1,237 delegates he needs to win (Source: Wikipedia), which puts him 544 delegates away from his goal. 
     First let’s look at the winner-take-all (with no ifs, ands, or buts) states.  Even in a three-way race, Trump enjoys double-digit leads in all five winner-take-all states for which polling data are available.  The only polling data of any kind I can find for South Dakota* (with 29 winner-take-all delegates) includes Democrats, Republicans, candidates, and former candidates.)  Here are the five states, with their number of delegates in parentheses: Arizona (58), Indiana (57), Nebraska (36), Montana (27), and New Jersey (51).
     Those five states will likely give Trump 229 delegates.  By the math, this puts Trump 315 delegates away from his goal.  Subtracting 229 from the 1,041 delegates still up for grabs, Trump has to get only 39% of the remaining 812 delegates. 
     Now let’s look at the states where delegates are winner-take-all if the winner gets more than 50% of the vote (otherwise, delegates are allotted proportionally.)  They are Utah (40) and Connecticut (28).  Probably no one will get 50% of the vote in Utah, so I’m calculating that Trump will get at least 16 of Utah’s 40 delegates.  He’ll take all of Connecticut’s 28 delegates.  These 44 delegates will put Trump 271 delegates away from his goal.     
     Now let’s look at the three states that will allocate delegates proportionally.  They are Oregon (28), Washington (44, but only to candidates with 20% or more of the vote), and New Mexico (24).  I calculate that Trump will win 16 delegates in Oregon, 23 in Washington, and 13 in New Mexico, for a total of 52 delegates, putting him 219 delegates away from his goal.
     Finally, setting aside Colorado’s 37 “unbound” delegates (the mention of which recalls bitter memories of the disgraceful behavior of party leaders at the 2012 (or was it 2008?) convention), let’s look at the winner-take-all (split) states.  Some are a combination of winner-take-all and proportional (WTA/).  They are Wisconsin (42), New York (95), Maryland (38), Pennsylvania (71), and West Virginia (34).  In California (172), congressional districts are winner-take-all (WTA/CD).  Together, these six states will send 452 delegates to the National GOP Convention this summer. 
     In this final category of states, it’s not possible for me to calculate just how many delegates Trump will win, but it looks promising for the Donald.  Donald Trump enjoys double-digit leads in all six winner-take-all (split) states.  Unless he (as he once suggested) stands in the middle of Times Square and shoots somebody, he’ll get at least half these 452 delegates, which should be more than he needs to get the nomination.  He’ll probably get much more than that.
     No doubt, the GOP Establishment will try to blackmail Trump into selecting Jeb Bush or other Insider as his vice presidential running mate.  To that, I have six words of caution:
“Bush family friend John Hinckley, Jr.” 

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