Donald Trump was expected to do well in the Wisconsin primary. He’d had good polls for himself in the state, but he flushed away his lead. He couldn’t close the deal!
To keep from falling further behind his pace to 1,237 delegates, he needed 18 from the state. He got six, an amount slightly smaller than large. So is it practically possible for him to get a majority anymore?
Sure, he’s got states like New York coming, but that’s already baked into the cake. He’s currently 59 delegates behind FiveThirtyEight’s pace. But he has some favorable states ahead. Are they enough?
Let’s assume he sweeps New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Delaware. His 538 projections only have him doing that in New Jersey and Delaware, so that nets him some delegates above pace. 37 in New York, 13 in Connecticut, 10 in Rhode Island would get him there. Merely losing two delegates somewhere in New York though, puts him back behind pace, and projected to be short of a majority in Cleveland.
New York is Winner Take All by Congressional District, but only if the winner gets 50%, or no other candidate gets 20%. It’s virtually certain that one of Ted Cruz or John Kasich will get 20%, so the burden is on Trump to get over 50 in every district of New York. Every time he fails, he loses a delegate.
And according to the polling, he’s likely to do that in some districts. His polling ranges from 50 to 56, which would get him there statewide if his support is even everywhere. But it’s not. Quinnipiac’s poll shows it’s uneven. His favorability is strongest in the NYC Suburbs, in the middle upstate, but lowest in NYC. Cruz however is stronger Upstate than he is in the Suburbs. Given that the candidates have different profiles, we expect Trump to have bigger leads in some districts than in others. That means he’s likely to waste votes, hitting 60% or more in districts, and leaving himself open to going below 50% in others.
Rules are rules. If Trump fails to reach 1,237 votes on the first ballot at the convention in Cleveland, then the #NeverTrump army is set to prevail. As the delegates held by Trump and Carson (749 presently) cannot match the combined totals of Cruz (514), Rubio (171), Kasich (143), Bush (4), and Fiorina (1).
The Republican National Convention is not like a real estate deal, where the details are fuzzy, and everything will be settled in court by a judge. No, the delegates will vote on the rules, which will likely be very similar to the current rules set in 2012. Without a majority, Trump is not entitled to win.
If he wants that majority he must sweep the New York area. According to the polling, he doesn’t seem likely to do that. Sad!