As Donald Trump stands on the cusp of having his ass handed to him today in Wisconin, increasing his losing streak to four primaries in row, Trump fans are seeking solace in the latest polls:
— We Need
HerpesTrump (@WeNeedTrump) April 4, 2016
New CBS Poll out of Pennsylvania
— TrumpTrain (@TrumpTrain8) April 3, 2016
Wow! Big beautiful new Pennsylvania poll gives Trump 18 point lead over Cruz and a near majority — 47 percent of the vote!
— Ricky Vaughn (@Ricky_Vaughn99) April 3, 2016
And the polling environment does look auspicious:
So the Trump fans are slobbering with delight as they eye those 71 delegates from Pennsylvania moving into Trump’s column.
Not so fast. This is where reading comprehension comes in, something, thus far, that has been the downfall of many a Trumpian plan.
First. Pennsylvania is a closed primary. To vote in it you must have been a registered Republican no later than March 28. Keep in mind when you read stuff like this you are dealing with idiots: (And I hate to say it but Jim Hoft is one of those guys who, by shamelessly fellating Donald Trump, has turned himself into a buffoon.)
— The Patriot (@ThePatriot143) April 3, 2016
This is the real info:
Pennsylvania’s GOP has welcomed just over 63,000 Democrats, independents, and third-party voters to the party between Jan. 1 and March 28 — a hefty 50 percent drop from the nearly 128,000 reported last week.
On the Democratic side, the party added about 41,000 Republicans, third-party, and independent voters who switched affiliation during that same period. That’s also a drop from the 86,500 the state reported last week.
And as for independents and third-party voters, about 8,300 switched their affiliations away from the major parties.
In summary, the GOP gained a net of 22,000 Democrat registrations. From that we have to assume about 4,000 losses as the GOP’s fair share of a movement from major parties to independent or third party status. So there is no avalanche of Trump voters waiting in the wings.
Second. Pennsylvania’s delegates are mostly unbound.
Unlike in other states, the bulk of Pennsylvania’s 71 Republican delegates aren’t required to support the candidate that gets the most votes in the April 26 primary.
Instead, 54 of the delegates — three elected in each of the state’s 18 congressional districts — can select any candidate they choose at the national convention in July. That means they could vote for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz or Ohio Gov. John Kasich even if most state Republicans pick New York businessman Donald Trump on their primary ballots.
Adding to the confusion, the affiliation of the delegate is not on the ballot. In many states you will see something like: JONES, JAMES (Kasich). In Pennsylvania you see JONES, JAMES.
What this means is that the campaigns that get the most delegates on the ballots will be the campaigns that get the most delegates. It doesn’t make a whit of difference what the final vote is. Who, you might ask, is most likely to rake in the delegates here? A. The guy who won Lousiana and came out with fewer delegates, who got rolled in North Dakota, who got rolled in Georgia and Tennessee, who is getting rolled in slow motion in Colorado, B) the guy who rolled guy A, or C) the favorite of the Pennsylvania GOP establishment? I’m betting not A.
So the Trump supporters can wave this poll about all they want to because it is meaningless. The outcome of the Pennsylvania primary is largely already decided because Cruz and Kasich have the energy and infrastructure to win this game. Quite honestly, Trump’s campaign simply doesn’t have the talent, attention span, or energy to win this kind of a primary. But the one thing they are great at is whining IT AIN’T FAIR! Get ready for Olympic quality mewling after the Pennsylvania primary.