Sunday, April 24, 2016

Trump Wins

Last week, everyone was talking about Trump needing 1237 delegates. Some said he couldn’t get them, others said he could. I decided to look into this. My conclusion is that the race is over... Trump wins.

Here’s the thing. The media loves to create the impression of a horserace because it brings in readers. But it’s often not true. In this case, they’ve been using Cruz’s recent string of victories to claim that he has momentum which will result in a contested convention. But this is not accurate. Cruz’s strength is in the South and in caucus states and those are basically over. So where are we? Consider this.

To win the nomination, a candidate needs 1237 votes. Here is what they have right now.
Trump 846
Cruz 544
Kasich 149
Others 189
Uncommitted 57
Based on this, it seems reasonable that anything could happen, right? Well, here are the races which are coming up and the number of delegates each gives:
Connecticut (28)
Delaware (16) (wta)
Rhode Island (19)
Pennsylvania (71) (wta)
Maryland (38) (wta)

May 3
Indiana (57) (wta)

May 10
Nebraska (36) (wta)
West Virginia (34)

May 17
Oregon (28)

May 24
Washington (44)

June 7
California (172) (wta)
New Jersey (51) (wta)
New Mexico (24)
Montana (27) (wta)
South Dakota (29) (wta)
The “wta” means “winner takes all,” and that’s important. Based on prior results, it’s pretty clear to me that Trump will win the following winner takes all states: Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, California and New Jersey. These offer 348 delegates. Trump will win them all (though there may be an issue in Pennsylvania about the election of delegates). That brings his total to 1,194. That’s only 43 short of the amount he needs to win the nomination.

Trump will also win the following proportional states for sure:
Connecticut (28)
Rhode Island (19)
Oregon (28)
Washington (44)
New Mexico (24)
These offer a total of 143 delegates. To win the nomination, he will only need to win 31% of these. Looking at the New York results, which both fit a trend and which show his strength in more moderate states, Trump is likely to win 60% of these... or 85 votes... 42 more than he needs to win the nomination. Hence, Trump wins.

There’s more.

The following states are places where Trump could win, but I’m just not sure: West Virginia, Nebraska, Indiana and Montana. These offer another 154 delegates he could get some of. I don’t see him winning South Dakota.

And there’s more. There are another 200 delegate free agents. These are people who get to vote their conscience without regard to how any state votes. Most of these will be party insiders and won’t support him unless he’s obviously the winner. But if even 20% do support him, that’s another 40 delegates.

All of this tells me that Trump is guaranteed a win at this point. He should end up, at a minimum, at 43 over the number of delegates he needs with another 200-300 possible.

So how has he does this? Well, here’s an interesting map which shows the support of each candidate by county. Notice that outside of Cruz’s home state and a handful of caucus states, Trump pretty much sweeps the nation:
That kind of tells you what is going on.

In terms of how Trump will do in the general election, there have been some interesting moves by Team Trump lately. First, he’s hired some professional people. These people are working to create “message discipline,” and to make the campaign more polished. Trump’s family has been trying to change his image to be more “good fatherly” than “asshole rogue.” And Trump has dramatically cut his insults. At the same time, he’s taken some positions that will help him with the public, like opposing North Carolina’s anti-gay laws. Essentially, he’s now trying to come across as more moderate, more thoughtful, and more presidential. It will be interesting to see how this works.



AndrewPrice said...

I have some thoughts on Prince and the "tributes" after his death. A lot of this feels false/exploitive to me in a way that the Bowie death did not. Sadly, my weekend has been eaten with a legal project. I'll post my thoughts soon though.

LL said...

I agree with your analysis. Furthermore the FBI isn't finished with Hillary. Nobody knows if the DOJ will indict, but if they don't there will be more fun and games on the Dem side of the equation.

Kit said...

Trump moderating? Give him time...

Anthony said...

So Trump continues to follow in Romney's footsteps and expect different results? Trump's supporters have made it clear that nothing he says can be too crazy, impractical or contradictory for them, but they might be alienated by sustained sanity.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, Pennyslvania is a bit of a wildcard because apparently they are simultaneously voting for the popular candidate and the delegates (and few know this), so it sounds like Trump could the "winner take all" state and still lose 30 delegates. But ultimately, that won't make a difference. I suspect Trump will get about 120 more than he needs and then the 200 free agents will mostly all vote for him.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, He already has if you listen to him. He's taken a lot of positions that would have killed him with the far right when he first ran. His fans just don't seem to notice.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Actually, I think Trump is running a significantly different campaign. Romney ran as the safe, smart, establishment guy who promised to be more conservative that others before him.

Trump is running as a contradictory: (1) he's the common sense candidate who connects with the American culture because he's not an elitist or an ideologue, and (2) he's the smart, rich guy who hobnobs with the insiders and can speak their language, but isn't beholden to them. Whereas Romney always felt like an outsider, Trump is very much in tune with America. Whereas Romney's money was "dirty" because it came from finance, Trump's money is clean because he fought the establishment to get it. Whereas Romney's policies were "stay the course," Trump's policies are "let's gets smart and I've hired some conservatives to tell me how." Whereas Romney spoke down to the 47%, Trump speaks down to the 1%.

Really the only similarities between Romney and Trump are that both are hated by the left, but even there, Trump never gives them a clean shot, unlike Romney who had the whole dear in the headlights "don't make me demand satisfaction!" thing going.

I don't buy Trump's image, but I think that's how he comes across. So I do think there will be a very different result.

Critch said...

I find it interesting that Trump and Sanders are not liked by the Kochs and many others...there is a "Washington-Wall Street" Establishment" and it crosses party's mostly centered on money. Now I'm as capitalist as the next guy but the problem isn't Trump or Bernie. Hillary, Romney, Reid, Pelosi, McConnell etc. are all running scared that maybe one of these mavericks will upset their applecart..

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, I agree. I'm not a fan of Trump, but it strikes me that there is an establishment, that they are bipartisan, and that they are freaked out about Trump and Sanders.

Honestly, that makes me more inclined to support them just to upset their world.

BevfromNYC said...

"Trump's supporters have made it clear that nothing he says can be too crazy, impractical or contradictory for them, but they might be alienated by sustained sanity."

Anthony, I blatantly stole this from you w/o permission and used it in a Tweet (edited to 140 characters). I hope you don't mind. It was just so spot on!

BevfromNYC said...

"Hillary, Romney, Reid, Pelosi, McConnell etc. are all running scared that maybe one of these mavericks will upset their applecart.."

Critch and Andrew - Yeah, but that will never happen. Seriously Trump will never betray "the home team". How do you think Trump has survived 4 bankruptcies and continues to get massive loans?

And Bernie, well, without the Wall Street/Banking cartels to kick around endlessly, he would have nothing to rant about.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That's one of the things I wonder about with Trump - if he isn't just another insider who is "playing the rubes."

tryanmax said...

I've felt pretty certain that Trump will get the nom since around the time Rubio dropped out. I've been pretty sure since that time that he'll win the presidency, at that.

Anthony said...


Not a problem.

AndrewPrice said...

OT: Tom Brady lost his appeal. What I think is funny about this is how many "legal analysts" got it wrong... pretty much every last one of them.

Here's the thing. Appeals almost never turn on the facts. With only rare exceptions, they turn on legal questions and the facts are assumed to be the way the lower court found them. Yet, each of these experts, who all swore this would be easily overturned, based their analysis on how they disagreed with the facts and how they thought the appeals court also would disagree with the facts. But appellate courts don't do that.

The point is, don't believe television lawyers because they don't understand how the law works.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Once Trump started winning moderates, the writing was on the wall. At this point, it's over, even if the media is still playing this "he can't get enough to win" game.

What's more, the public gets that he's the winner and now you are seeing his numbers surge as the herd races to the bandwagon.

In terms of the general election, I see him crushing Hillary.

Critch said...

My analysis, and I am not an expert, is quite simple. The GOP had tons of very qualified candidates from government and business and none of them survived except for Trump and Cruz..and the main reason is that Joe and Joyce Sixpack are tired of hearing BS in high falutin' term from candidates. Rand Paul was way too cerebral, Fiorina was indistinct, Bush was boring and the others were no-shows on the meter. Trump and Cruz resonated on a variety of levels, but Trump seems to be able to get it out there better. The Donald reminds me of my first AMMO Chief....tough talking, do your job and keep going forward....that's easy to understand. I have a feeling that Trump will trounce Hillary; he is not going to be politically correct with her about where her money comes from or who her husband is doing or those email. Also, I have a feeling that Hillary's likability factor is not going to help her, and one more thing...Obama may find it in his best interests to let the FBI indict her...then he can call in Biden....Hillary will not continue Obama's miserable policies, she will substitute her own miserable policies...

BevfromNYC said...

Btw, Andrew, i agree that the whole Prince tribute thing is getting ridiculous.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, What bothers me is this...

When Bowie died, there was this spontaneous outpouring of people who genuinely viewed him as a part of their lives. They shared personal experiences, did little personal tributes that matched his career/image (like putting on Ziggy Stardust facepaint), and they talked about the things he did that they loved.

Now Prince dies. This time, it's very different. Rather than seeing this spontaneous outpouring, instead, you right away are flooded with what feels like PR departments spinning out "ME TO!" tributes. Businesses did promotion-tributes (like a hockey rink that used seat covers to recreate his symbol for whatever reason). Company twitter accounts spat out generic tributes... "We raise a Cola in salute to Prince!" Night show hosts advertised the musical tributes they did... "come watch ME celebrate Prince!" Celebrities flooded Twitter with tweets that were vague and felt like the celeb didn't actually know who Prince was, yet wanted to make it sounded like he was their best friend: "His genius inspired MY generation with his work. His song(s) were part of MY childhood!" (Uh, you were 20 when he was born, a-hole, and you can't name a single song, can you?)

And then you have this rash of articles suddenly that are trying to redefine him to match their ideology, i.e. to exploit his death to further their political cause -- "Prince was all about sex and would have endorsed Bernie Sanders and gay marriage." Actually, he was a Jehovah's witness who refused to vote and opposed gay marriage.

This has all come across as corporate, PR-laced and exploitive to me. It bothers me.

AndrewPrice said...

Let me add, I liked the Bowie thing because it felt genuine and it was obvious this was coming from the public. But the Prince thing has been highjacked by corporate types and political types.

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, I think what we are seeing now is that the "establishment" has alienated the public and the public has turned to populism with the idea of stripping power from the establishment and creating a more fair, not-rigged system.

Unfortunately, populism rarely works that way.

But the fault lies not with the public. It lies with the elites who have taken too much and left too little for others.

tryanmax said...

In terms of the general election, I see him crushing Hillary.

Absolutely. I'm sure it's the prospect of keeping Hillary out of the White House is what is seeing Trump's numbers swell. Now Trump is going around saying that all she has to play is the "woman card," which I believe resonates with a lot of people.

Hillary's response, which I first heard this morning, was something along the lines of "if playing the woman card means fighting for women's blah, blah, blah, then deal me in!" which is one of the most contrived political retorts I've ever heard. I can almost see the staffers sitting around in their rumpled shirts, sleeves rolled up, asking themselves "how can we bounce off the 'woman card' thing? Maybe make it like a poker game?" *sigh*

Koshcat said...

so sad...

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