Trump now has a path to victory ahead of the convention

Yesterday Donald Trump cleaned out 5 state primaries and pretty much hoovered up all available delegates.

He now sits on 950 delegates, just 287 short of the required 1237.

Nate Silver now has him ahead of predictions and now in with a shot of making the 1237 threshold:

Tuesday night went about as well as possible for Donald Trump.

Two weeks ago, after a rough stretch of states for Trump, we issued a series of delegate projections that included something called a “path-to-1,237” projection, a set of targets that would allow Trump to clinch a delegate majority without having to rely on uncommitted delegates. With Trump’s terrific results in New York last week and even better ones in the five states that voted on Tuesday, Trump is actually running a little ahead of the path-to-1,237.

Based on provisional results, it looks as though Trump will sweep every pledged delegate in Maryland (as a result of winning every congressional district), Connecticut (as a result of winning every congressional district and getting more than 50 percent of the vote statewide), Pennsylvania (where statewide delegates are awarded winner-take-all) and Delaware (ditto), along with 11 of 19 delegates in Rhode Island (which is highly proportional). Combined with the New York results,2 that gives Trump 200 delegates since we issued the path-to-1,237 projections, five delegates ahead of his original targets.

Most of the remaining states are winner-take-all, some with some tricky set ups but none as tricky as West Virginia. Still, Trump is now polling well over 50% in every state and in some states he is 16-28 points in front.

At the time we issued those delegate projections, Trump had yet to get 50 percent of the vote in any state and both his national polls and statewide results seemed stagnant. Now he’s gotten over 50 percent in six states in a row. Whereas Trump had once been a safe bet to underperform or, at best, match his polling averages, he’s beaten them in the last six states.

Having moved to a demographically favorable bloc of states is part of the equation, but not all of it. Compare Trump’s excellent result in Maryland (55 percent of the statewide vote) to his mediocre one in demographically similar Virginia on Super Tuesday (35 percent). Pennsylvania, where Trump got 57 percent of the vote on Tuesday, isn’t all that different from Illinois, where he got 39 percent on March 15. (The Pennsylvania result is especially important given that Trump also got favorable-seeming results among the 54 officially uncommitted delegates elected in the state on Tuesday night, which will give him a cushion if he falls a bit short of 1,237 pledged delegates.)

Trump has increased his vote. Kasich and Cruz are falling behind. They no longer have a path to victory; only Trump can make the threshold.

It seems that Indiana is key now.

Indiana is important not only because of its delegates, but also because it will give us an indication as to whether the apparent change in Republican attitudes is temporary or permanent. If Trump wins Indiana despite itsmiddling-to-fair (from his standpoint) demographics, he won’t quite be thepresumptive nominee because he’ll still need to follow through with a decent performance in California. But he’ll at least be in the liminal zone that Hillary Clinton spent a lot of time in, with the race not quite wrapped up mathematically but close enough that something (a gaffe, a scandal) would have to intervene to deny him the nomination. Incidentally, Trump’s potential support from the uncommitted delegates in Pennsylvania will give him more margin of error in that situation.

If Trump loses Indiana, however, that will suggest the race is still fairly volatile week-to-week, that he’s very likely to lose states such as Nebraska that vote later in May, and that the geographic and demographic divergences in the GOP haven’t reversed themselves so much as become more exaggerated. It will improve the morale of anti-Trump voters and change the tone of press coverage. And mathematically, it will make it hard (although not quite impossible) for Trump to win 1,237 delegates outright; he’d be back to fighting tooth-and-nail for every uncommitted delegate.

I don’t know what’s going to happen in Indiana. But Trump’s strong results over the past two weeks have changed the Hoosier State from potentially being “must-win” for Trump to probably being “must-win” for his opponents.

Cruz and Kasich came to their conspiracy to pervert the course of the election far too late. I believe that Trump now has momentum. It will be very hard to stop him.


– Fivethirtyeight


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  • rua kenana

    It so often interests me that the more abuse and denigration is thrown at a political candidate by the media and political opponents the better that candidate tends to do.
    In NZ for example Labour has being trying that on John Key since before 2008, and just see where it’s got them now.
    My theory is that voters are plenty sensible enough to know that media/political opponents using abuse as their main weapon don’t really have anything else. Certainly not the good policies the voters want.
    Maybe that’s one explanation why Trump is doing so well.

    • localnews

      and generally the abuse comes as a result of them being unable to argue on policy or ideas

  • JohnO

    Trump is a “master persuader” and has almost certainly won the republican presidential nomination. With his “rigged nomination” and “Lying Ted” language Trump is heading for a record amount of the popular republican vote in the primaries. The polls giving a slight lead to Clinton in a Clinton-Trump contest are not going to stay that way for long once it is a head to head match up. Sure Clinton might take 10% of republican voters who don’t like Trump but Trump will take 25% democrats who connect with his “US first and best” message.

  • Andrew

    “Nate Silver now has him ahead of predictions” – just to correct you, that was for the recent primaries. He is still just behind 538’s projected overall delegate count needed:

  • Seriously?

    The punters think much the same: Recent days have seen Trump doing better than was expected.

    For the nomination he is now $1.26, in from $1.43 Tuesday morning, and that is as firm a favorite as he has been since I started following the odds in late Jan.

    For next president he is now $5.30, in from $6.40 on Tuesday. But unlike the nomination fight he has been significantly lower than that in the past (as low as $3.70 in late Feb when he was then paying $1.28 for the nomination).

  • Keeping Stock

    Kasich has hitched his horse to the wrong wagon. Instead of teaming up with Cruz to try and gerrymander the result, he should have gone to Trump and tried to cut a deal, offering his delegates in return for some post-election position. But the horse has bolted on that possibility now.

  • shykiwibloke

    What an amazing time for Political long-term-trend watchers like myself. USA, U.K.,Australia and Austria are all fascinating at the momement. A global sea-change is happening before our eyes it would seem. My pick as the key factor is that the MSM no longer have a stranglehold on the conduit between candidates and voters – and don’t know it (or don’t want to know it) yet either.

  • CheesyEarWax

    I picked Trump to win the primaries but loose the Presidential to Clinton. If the primaries is this interesting the Presidential is going to be even better.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Cruz & Kasich were always also-rans. Cruz is a questionable American and Kasich wants the USA to return to Disneyland apple pie land where everybody is nice to each other.
    We have already experienced first hand the result of voter rejection of the Media party to any fair or foul means to promote losers even when it is a toxic mix claiming it would be good for us. While they lack a Fat German Sausage there they never the less have a greater number of very fat cats turning feral at the prospect of their cosy situation being threatened.
    It might be a blessing in disguise that the Media party are flat out pandering to those candidates who mistakenly think they matter thus lacking the time to read the true indicators.

    • biscuit barrel

      Pandering to those that think they matter ?

      Fox News had clear rules based on polling for its debates. So are you saying the public are stupid liking so many candidates.

      back in Dec 2015
      “Based on average of 8 recent natl’ polls compiled by RealClearPolitics website, six candidates on main stage would be Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Gov. Chris Christie
      Based on recent polling, Kasich has best chance of making main stage by breaking into top 5 in N.H.”

  • Tiger

    It would appear that it is precisely this sort of behaviour; the political maneuvering Cruz and Kasich have undertaken, that the Republican voters have rejected. As proved at the last election in NZ, when the candidates assume that the voters are stupid they make a big mistake.
    With the “establishment” picking that Trump will be a disaster vs Hillary for the Republicans, just wait until Hillary has to answer some hard questions around a stainless steel table and one way glass at the FBI.

  • Crowgirl

    The numbers are updated – he now has 987 of what he needs – 250 left to go and this just seems to get easier for him.

  • one for the road

    My bet is that Trump will be the Republication Presidential candidate, that he will beat Clinton and become the next President, that he will then have difficulty making progress on enacting law changes for all the things he wants to do (not as hard as it has been for Obama, but still difficult with a Republican control Senate/Congress of the old GoP die hards at least for next 2 years) – therefore, expect to see the highest number of Executive Orders ever under Trump in his first term…

  • Trump versus Clinton. Clinton will win hands down. As long as that Homophobic Cruz doesnt get in, everything’s all right.

    • OneTrack

      And the US can then keep on it’s present policy settings which, of course, is absolutely perfect. What could go wrong?

    • Toby

      Unless of course Donald pulls the trump card and the whole email scandal comes to roost.
      Notice how this has gone very quiet all of a sudden.
      The right wants Hilliary to be nominated as she would be much easier to take down.

  • contractor

    Heck, many Americans must be really fed up with the political establishment to be backing someone so dubious as Trump!
    Good leaders are extremely hard come by everywhere.