Big day for Trump, Clinton in the Acela Primaries



Huge night for the Trump and Clinton campaigns. Trump fully swept all 5 states, winning every district in every state. If it wasn’t for Rhode Island giving delegates proportionally, Trump would have won nearly every non-PA delegate handedly.

Using our friends at The Green Papers (which is by far the best site for state-by-state breakdowns of votes, delegates, and everything you could want), we see that by their calculations Donald Trump is at 942 delegates. The votes are still coming in, and with Pennsylvania’s weird unpledged-but-stated-who-they-support system, the numbers may shake out a delegate or two by morning. Either way, Trump is inching closer and closer towards 1,237.

So let’s break down the most likely scenarios for Trump reaching 1,237 again now that these five states voted.

The next state to vote is Indiana, where RCP gives Trump a 6.3% advantage in the winner-take-all state of 57 delegates. Let’s assume that Trump will win that state. After all, Trump has been majorly out-performing his polls recently:

as the results show, and as Harry Enten of FiveThirtyEight points out, he has been steadily outperforming polls by about 6.5%:

so I’ll mark Indiana as a Trump state.

942 + 57 = 999 delegates.

Next up on the Republican side would be the Nebraska primary on May 10 for 36 delegates. It’s a Cruz favored state and winner-take-all. West Virginia is also on that day for 34 delegates and are distributed at both a state-winner and district-winner level. Considering how well Trump has done in that area of the country, I’d assume it’ll be a clean sweep there.

999+34 = 1,033 delegates.

May 17 is the Oregon primary, which has 28 delegates awarded proportionally with 10 at-large, 15 by district, and 3 party leader delegates. There hasn’t been any polling done there, so let’s be conservative and assume an even split – 10 Trump, 9 Cruz, 9 Kasich (even if that’s not really how the math would work out since Cruz/Kasich are teaming for Kasich to take Trump on there. So really Trump should get more delegates due to the split of Cruz votes).

1,033 + 10 = 1,044 delegates.

May 24 is the Washington primary, which is more of a Cruz state. There are 44 delegates awarded with 3 delegates per each of the 10 districts, and 14 at-large delegates divided proportionally among the candidates. Per state rules, if each candidate gets 20% of the vote in a district, each gets 1 delegate. Perhaps I could see Kasich falling short in places of the 20% mark, leaving it as a 2/1 Cruz to Trump split, giving Trump 10 delegates from the districts and probably 35% of the 14 at-large delegates for 4.9 delegates, rounded to 5.

1,044 + 15 = 1,059 delegates.

Last day: June 7

Here is where it’ll all be decided.

Montana has 27 delegates as winner-take-all, and it’s projected to be a Cruz state.

New Jersey has 51 delegates and is winner-take-all, and will be a Trump state.

1,059 + 51 = 1,110 delegates.

California has 172 delegates, with 3 delegates going to the winner of each of their 53 districts, 10 going to the state-wide winner, and 3 party leaders as delegates (whom would vote for the winner of the state presumably). Polling has Trump at around 49 percent of the vote as of now. So to make the math easy, we’ll give him the 13 state delegates, and he’ll win half of the districts (most likely more, probably even around 75% of them by my best guess), so another 78 or so delegates. 13 + 78 = 91 delegates.

1,110 + 91 = 1,201 delegates.

New Mexico has 24 delegates bound proportionally to the candidates, and as this is a supposed Kasich/Cruz alliance state, let’s assume Trump gets half and Kasich gets half.

1,201 + 12 = 1,213 delegates.

South Dakota is a winner-take-all state for 29 delegates and is supposed to go for Cruz.

So given very conservative estimates, Trump will fall just short of the 1,237 number. But remember that I didn’t factor Oregon in correctly, as that is a Kasich/Cruz combo state. Let’s assume a 55%/45% split for Trump/Kasich. Trump would get 15.4 delegates, rounded down to 15 and Kasich would get 12.6, rounded down due to state rules. The rules state that “If too few delegates are allocated, round up those candidates with the largest remainders until all delegates have been allocated,” and I’m not sure how to read that, but I’ll just throw that delegate to Trump. So now Trump is at 16 rather than 10 I had earlier.

1,213 + 6 = 1,219 delegates.

1,237 – 1,219 = 18 delegates, meaning Trump would only need to win 6 additional California districts over the 26 that I had him winning before. That is easily within the realm of possibility, as I can only think of a few areas that could perhaps go for Cruz over Trump (like some NorCal districts that are more Mormon, as well as perhaps Inyo County as well. Maybe Kasich could pick up moderate votes in LA since Schwarzenegger endorsed him and swing LA county to him?) Either way, the idea that Trump will only win half of the districts is a little too conservative, and will more likely be a 75% split for him, giving him more like 40 districts won, for an additional 14 districts and 42 delegates.

1,219 + 42 delegates = 1,261 delegates and the Republican nomination.

Of course, things can change between now and then, but after tonight’s resounding sweep for Trump, the math is in his favor to clinch the nomination on the first ballot.

As for the Democratic side, it’s basically in the bag for Hillary now. Sanders released a statement admitting he has no real clear shot at the nomination given the math, but will stay in it since anyone who has 25% of the pledged delegates gets to speak on the Democratic floor at the convention and can bring up planks and platforms for the party to vote on at the convention:

(And he’ll stay in it just in case Hillary gets indicted.)

As I’ve said before, it’s time to start turning towards the general election and the Clinton v. Trump debates, which will be for the ages.

Trump gave us a taste of that tonight in his victory speech:

Buckle up and grab the popcorn.


4 thoughts on “Big day for Trump, Clinton in the Acela Primaries

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