Last night, Donald Trump won New York in emphatic fashion. Not only did he win with more than 60 percent of the vote, but according to current results, he managed to win 90 of 95 delegates in the state, exceeding even the most optimistic of expectations. John Kasich won the other 5 delegates, and Ted Cruz won zero.
After several bad nights in a row, Trump is back to being a winner. So will New York help him get to the magic number of 1,237 delegates?
Here’s where we stand currently:
Pre-New York Delegate Count (via RealClearPolitics):
- Donald Trump: 756
- Ted Cruz: 559
- John Kasich: 144
Updated Delegate Count:
- Donald Trump: 846
- Ted Cruz: 559
- John Kasich: 149
Trump needs just 391 delegates to hit the magic number. There are 664 delegates remaining. That means he needs to win 59 percent of them to secure the nomination. Can he do it?
It’s certainly not impossible, but he would need an impressive showing next Tuesday. Five states vote on Tuesday — Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. 172 delegates are up for grabs.
Here’s how it will go down:
Connecticut (28 delegates)
Connecticut awards 15 delegates winner-take-all by congressional district (3 delegates from each of 5 districts), and awards its remaining 13 at-large delegates proportionally, unless one candidate wins a true majority (50 percent + one) of the popular vote.
That’s complex, so I’ll give you a couple examples.
If Trump wins 52 percent of the popular vote in Connecticut and beats Cruz and Kasich in each congressional district, he will win all 28 delegates.
If Trump wins 49 percent of the popular vote, while beating Cruz and Kasich in each congressional district, the at-large delegates will be divided proportionally among all candidates who exceed 20 percent. If Kasich got 25 percent and Cruz got 24 percent, that could result in a 6-4-3 type distribution, while Trump would win the 15 delegates from each of the five congressional districts. In this scenario, Trump would win 21 delegates.
Every delegate matters at this point, so it’s important to understand the ramifications of just a few percent points, even in small states like Connecticut.
The good news for Trump is that he appears to be doing well in Connecticut. The RealClearPolitics average has him at 49 percent, with Kasich trailing at 27 percent and Cruz at 18 percent. Getting over 50 percent is critical for Trump to get all 28 delegates.
Prediction: Trump wins 28 delegates.
Delaware (16 delegates)
Delaware is winner-take-all. No complexities here. There is very little polling on Delaware, but it’s hard to imagine Trump losing. He just needs to beat Cruz and Kasich with a plurality.
Prediction: Trump wins 16 delegates.
Rhode Island (19 delegates)
Rhode Island awards 13 delegates at-large and 6 delegates by Rhode Island’s two congressional districts. All of these delegates are awarded proportionally, although there are strangely unexciting rules:
1.) If three candidates get over 10 percent in a congressional district, they each get one delegate, UNLESS:
2.) If one candidate exceeds 67 percent in a congressional district, they win all three delegates.
It seems unlikely that Trump will exceed 67 percent anywhere, and it also seems unlikely that Kasich or Cruz will fail to reach 10 percent. That means we can allocate each candidate 2 delegates from the congressional districts.
Even if Trump wins the Rhode Island popular vote by a significant margin, which is fair to expect, the delegate allocation is going to be very close — probably something like 6-4-3 in Trump’s favor. He won’t be running up the score here.
Prediction: Trump wins 8 delegates, Kasich wins 6 delegates, Cruz wins 5 delegates.
Maryland (38 delegates)
Maryland is pretty straightforward. 24 of the delegates are awarded based on the plurality winner in each of Maryland’s 8 congressional districts. The remaining 14 delegates go to the plurality winner of the entire state.
And Trump is winning in Maryland. Public Policy Polling (PPP) released a poll on Tuesday showing Trump with 43 percent, Kasich with 29 percent, and Cruz at 24 percent. Additionally, Trump’s demonstrated high favorability numbers with GOP voters, while Kasich and Cruz both struggled.
It’s hard to imagine Trump not winning big here, and Maryland is a pretty nice prize.
Prediction: Trump wins 38 delegates.
Pennsylvania (71 delegates)
Pennsylvania is confusing.
Seventeen of the 71 delegates are at-large and will be pledged to the winner of the state’s popular vote. Those delegates should all go to Trump, as he has consistently led by 15-20 points in Pennsylvania polling.
The issue is with the 54 remaining delegates. Those delegates are directly voted for on the ballot — 3 delegates from each of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts. The problem with this system is that these delegates are not committed to any candidate, and technically they can vote for whomever they want on the first ballot at convention.
Ted Cruz is already making a play for these delegates, and NBC News is reporting that the Cruz campaign believes even if they finish a distant third place, “[t]hey’re looking at more than 30.”
Wow. Honestly, that’s pretty ridiculous.
With little to base a prediction on, I’m left to speculate aimlessly. Trump’s campaign needs to focus on securing these 54 delegates, but the fix may already be in. A big loss here could be devastating.
Prediction: Trump wins 17 delegates and 25 of 54 unbound delegates.
Even with a questionable result in Pennsylvania, Trump appears poised to have a good night next Tuesday. Using these numbers, Trump would win 132 of 172 total available delegates on April 26.
Projected Post-Delegate Count:
- Donald Trump: 978
- Ted Cruz: 592
- John Kasich: 156
That would leave Trump needing 259 delegates to clinch the nomination with 488 delegates remaining.
And we’re supposed to think he can’t manage that in these states?
- Indiana: 57 delegates
- Nebraska: 36 delegates
- West Virginia: 34 delegates
- Oregon: 28 delegates
- Washington: 44 delegates
- South Dakota: 29 delegates
- New Mexico: 24 delegates
- New Jersey: 51 delegates
- Montana: 27 delegates
- California: 172 delegates
Seems more and more likely that Trump will be the GOP nominee on the first ballot in Cleveland.
Jon Schweppe is Communications Director for the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @JonSchweppe.