Can Donald Trump Lock the Nomination?

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EDITED AFTER NEW YORK PRIMARY

NOTE: UPDATED AND IMPROVED VERSION OF THIS ANALYSIS IS HERE

There is almost no way that Donald trump will get to the Republican National Convention with anything less than a fairly strong majority of pledged delegates. But can he get there with the 1237 delegates needed to lock the nomination on the first ballot?

I made a list of upcoming contests and initially estimated Trump’s delegate take using the oversimplified method of multiplying the percentage of available delegates with Trump’s percentage according to the most recent available polls. This slightly underestimates the number of delegates since the actual percentages are broken down to the exclusion of “undecided” and minor candidates who were in the polls but not the context, etc. However, it can be more inaccurate because many of these contests are not exactly proportional but kind of.

Some states don’t have usable polling data, so I put Trump’s percentage at 40, which is the average for all the cases where there are polling data.

Five upcoming states are winner take all. Given the fact that Trump seems to win a lot, and will campaign his New York Vallues Ass off in those states, I assume he will win in every case (this might be wildly wrong, but he is generally ahead, so I’m sticking to that story). So in those states he earns 100% of the available delegates.

When I add this all up, and add in the delegates already assigned, Trump ends up with 1198 pledged delegates, or 39 short of a lock.

That is a shade over 5% of the remaining delegates. If Cruz or Kasich do better than expected, this would clearly put Trump too far away from the 1237 number, but if either stumbles and/or Trump does really great things, I mean, great things, and believe me he can do those great things, he’s always doing great things, in some of the upcoming deals, I mean, primaries, he can probably close that gap.

My money is on him not maybe closing the gap…

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15 thoughts on “Can Donald Trump Lock the Nomination?

  1. Is a Trump nomination a good thing or a bad thing? It seems to me Trump being nominated will result in a moderate Republican (Clinton) being elect6ed.

  2. It seems to me Trump being nominated will result in a moderate Republican (Clinton) being elect6ed.

    I hope so but am not convinced. The republicans have spent a lot of time and money trying to show that she committed great crimes against the country when she was secretary of state, and even though those efforts haven’t born fruit that is a “minor detail” to a good many Republicans on the street. They “know” she’s a criminal, and would do anything to stop her becoming president.

    1. “[….] The republicans have spent a lot of time and money trying to show that she committed great crimes against the country when she was secretary of state….”

      Indeed, and as much as I dislike Ms Clinton I have not seen or heard or read any evidence that shows she committed any crimes; nor any hint of any official scandal. It is a shame that people will vote against her for the wrong reasons.

  3. One wonders how much progress the right would have made hitting her on her actual weak spots instead of the trumped up charges. I’m glad they aren’t smart enough to do that.

    1. dean: One wonders how much progress the right would have made hitting her on her actual weak spots instead of the trumped up charges. I’m glad they aren’t smart enough to do that.

      The hell they aren’t that smart: they know that doing so would be to attack their own candidates.

      This morning I see in the news that a CNN news anchor has insisted there is no evidence that giving the Clintons over US$138,000,000 personally (speeches, gifts) has caused them to act in favor of the givers; apparently there is also no evidence that the many hundreds of millions of dollars corporations have given to her election campaigns has swayed Ms Clinton’s behavior in any way over the years.

      Which now makes me wonder: if the corporations that are throwing millions and millions of dollars at her are not getting anything in return, why do they keep doing it?

  4. That’s possibly because, speaking of actual weak spots, they kinda sorta have their hands full at the moment, and are too pre-occupied with discrediting their own party’s candidates.

    1. Brainstorms: “That’s possibly because, speaking of actual weak spots, they kinda sorta have their hands full at the moment, and are too pre-occupied with discrediting their own party’s candidates.”

      If the Republican Party attacked Ms Clinton’s actual behavior, they would sound like Sanders.

      I see in the news that the Chicago Board of Elections has completed its audit and found one precinct’s counts were originally changed by removing 21 Sanders votes and adding 49 Clinton votes. The BoE audit concluded it doesn’t matter.

  5. #3
    Unfortunately the Sanders campaign and Sanders himself have built on that narrative. Even though Clinton has received considerably more votes and has more pledged delegates, she’s “stealing” the election. The southern states she’s won don’t count, because they vote Republican, while Republican states like Idaho and Wyoming, whose populations could fit into a not too large suitcase, show that Sanders has far more support.

    My own longstanding view is that both Sanders and Clinton are flawed*, but that both are far superior to any Republican. I believe that Trump has inflicted so much damage on himself, and has alienated so many voters and Republican donors, that either Democrat could beat him. My hope is that the Democratic race doesn’t get any nastier than it already is, that everyone will understand what’s at stake, and that Clinton and Sanders supporters will unite around the nominee.

    *An example:
    http://www.vox.com/2016/4/17/11439472/clinton-sanders-climate-exchange

  6. Is a Trump nomination a good thing or a bad thing?

    The most plausible alternative to Trump at this point is Ted Cruz, who in most respects would be even worse as President than Trump. Fortunately for the world’s non-Republicans, Cruz has been even better than Trump at burning bridges. Nobody, apart from his parents and possibly his wife, actually likes Cruz. Cruz would win the hardcore evangelical right, but how much beyond that isn’t clear. Trump does have appeal in other circles, but some of the religious right hate him so much that Utah might be in play in a Trump vs. Clinton general election (I think that’s optimistic, but the Republicans would have to spend money in Utah, and maybe the Democrats could pick up a House seat in the Salt Lake area).

  7. I think Trump’s new haircut will push him over 1237. Seriously though, if Trump is finessed out, the GOP will be so busy bailing out that the Democratic nominee will sail to victory. If Trump is nominated … well, I am already seeing my Republican siblings rallying around him. Just a few months ago they thought he was a joke. Now he’s the voice of the wage class.

  8. The most plausible alternative to Trump at this point is Ted Cruz, who in most respects would be even worse as President than Trump

    More than agree – I think he’d be worse than Trump in every respect. I also agree about how unliked Cruz is: even my loony brother-in-law, who still believes President Obama stole his elections and is bringing millions of terrorists here, describes Cruz as “That little prick.” and “Wouldn’t vote for the first time in my life if he were the nominee.”

  9. Yeah, I can just see it now:

    Ted Cruz, with Lyin’ Ryan as his veep, and Sam Brownback (recently emerged from the smoldering ruins of Kansas) installed as the Secretary of the Treasury…

    Reads like a really bad B-grade horror movie, only you can’t get out of the theater!

    “Trumped-Up Productions” brings you “Night of the Living Dead”, where White House “Resident Evil” brings about a global economic wasteland “28 Weeks Later”…

  10. If some people would stop letting their partisanship interfere, they might better be able to do an objective analysis.

    Trump losing to Hillary is best for the Republicans, not because “Hillary is evil Republican blah blah” but because they would have an excuse for losing. Down-ticket people can distance themselves from him without losing any support. That’s because he is not taken seriously by the mainstream, and many of his supporters– yes, like many Bernie supporters– were not going to be voting in any event. “It’s just crazy Trump, Republican values have not been rejected.”

    Cruz losing to Hillary is much more telling because it contrasts Hillary’s moderate-liberal platform against whatever right-wing craziness Cruz puts out. If down-ticket Republicans distance themselves from Cruz, they alienate an actual reliable voting demographic, which is religionists.

    And I don’t think the “savior” scenario is off the table yet. I still don’t see how losing that group that wasn’t going to vote anyway really hurts them if they are going to lose the Presidency anyway. Cruz can be VP, if necessary; he can do well as attack-dog.

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