Thursday, April 7, 2016

Will Donald Trump Be The Nominee? Another Quantitative Analysis


Pundits love to speculate as to whether Donald Trump can or will win the Republican nomination. After his crushing loss in Wisconsin, Trump has suffered a setback, because Wisconsin was a winner-take-all state. (A silly arrangement, in my opinion.) But now, how does the delegate math work out? Once again, a quantitative analysis is called for. And just like I did in my last blog post, I sat down and crunched the numbers to provide a very good insight into how good Donald's chances really are.

We begin with Donald's current running total of 746 delegates (according to CNN). Using current polling data, it's likely that Trump will win New York on April 19th. However, since this is not a winner-take-all state, he will come away with only, at most, 60% of the delegates. There are 95 delegates at stake. We'll give him a conservative estimate of 50 delegates. Running total: 796.

Next comes a big day on April 26th, with five states voting. Connecticut and Rhode Island are not winner-take-all states, but the other three, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware, are. Actually, Delaware is winner-take-all, while Penn. and Mary. are winner-take-most. In all these states, Trump is showing a current, comfortable lead. If we grant conservative totals (a bit more than half) for Conn. and R.I., and give him all of Delaware and most, but not all, of Pennsylvania and Maryland, Trump comes away with 128 more delegates altogether. Running total now: 924.

And here's where it gets really interesting. Next up are Indiana on May 3rd, and Nebraska on May 10th. Neither of these states has any recent polling data, so it's anybody's guess what may happen. Indiana has 56 delegates, and Nebraska has 36. Indiana is winner-take-most, while Nebraska is winner-take-all. If Trump loses both these states, then he will fall just shy of the grand total of 1,237 needed to clinch the nomination, even assuming Trump runs the table the rest of the way! On the other hand, if he wins just one of those states, then he will be able to potentially clinch the nomination on June 7th, when California, New Jersey, and three other states weigh in. All but one of these is winner-take-all or winner-take-most. If he loses either Indiana or Nebraska, he will need all the remaining states to clinch. On the other hand, if he wins both Indiana and Nebraska, the only realistic way to stop Trump will be to defeat him in California.

California! California! California! Will be the #nevertrump rallying cry!

So it comes down to Indiana and Nebraska! Nebraska's demographic is similar to Iowa's, but Indiana is more similar to Wisconsin. Trump should be very careful not to insult Indiana's governor this time!

So! Indiana and Nebraska! Watch them carefully, May 3rd and May 10th, and see if I'm not right. Remember, you heard it here first!


Eric

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