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Trump and the Path to Nomination

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Before we begin debunking, let’s start with the obvious: It was undoubtedly a good night for Trump and unsurprisingly so, as NR’s Henry Olsen predicted on election eve.

Trump looks to have taken 90 delegates and 60 percent of the vote, somewhat better than projections, although most election-eve forecasts had him taking at least 85 or so of New York’s 95 delegates (Olsen had him pegged for 87).

But despite his victory, Trump got only a very modest bump from New York last night. And despite the breathless TV and print commentary from our New York–centered media, he still faces huge obstacles if he wants to get a sufficient number of delegates to be nominated on the first ballot. And if he is not nominated on the first ballot, given Cruz’s wildly successful delegate strategy, it is unlikely he will be nominated at all.

In fact, according to the analysis of the widely-respected 538.com, Trump actually fell just short of the number of delegates he needed in New York to put himself on the path to the magic number of 1,237.

And, though he should have a good week next week when Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island vote, he will need a New York–level performance, not just a victory, if he wants to substantially improve his nomination odds.

New York and the five states voting next Tuesday are all part of the Democrats’ “blue wall.” Democrats have won all of these states in each of the last six elections. Only one of these states (Pennsylvania) has given more than 45 percent of its vote to the GOP candidate in any of the last six elections. New York and Rhode Island have never even given 40 percent to GOP candidates during this time.

It will be a major surprise if Trump loses any of the April 26 “Acela corridor” states. In fact, the 538.com base projections, which still have Trump coming up almost 80 delegates short of the 1,237 he will need for a first-ballot nomination, project that he will easily win almost all of the delegates in these states next week. If Cruz (whom, full disclosure, I have endorsed), or even the delusional John Kasich, were to somehow surprise him, most likely in Pennsylvania or Maryland, it would constitute a major setback for Trump.


Jeremy Carl, nationalreview.com