Donald Trump captured Florida, North Carolina and Illinois, capturing at least 160 delgates. Mr. Trump also appears to have won Missouri as well with a 41.0% to 40.7% lead over second place Cruz. He defeated Florida Senator Marco Rubio by a wide margin, as predicted by the polls. Trump also won 9 delegates from Northern Mariana Islands (a U.S. commonwealth).
Ohio Governor John Kasich captured his home state by a wider than expected margin (47% to Trump’s 46%). He gave an ebulliant victory speech, proclaiming a long campaign ahead of him. Even with this victory, Kasich is mathematically eliminated from winning the nomination outright. He is hopeful for a brokered convention, or perhaps for an opportunity to further his political influence.
Senator Cruz won no states tonight, however has picked up only 24 delegates as a second place finisher and Illinois.
Senator Rubio has suspended his campaign, having lost badly (Trumps 46% to his 27%) in his home state. He gave a gracious concession speech, apologizing for his last weeks of brutal campaigning against Mr. Trump. However he made no indication he might be willing to support Trump, should Trump get the nomination.
Trump now has 621 delegates (will likely be 673 when Missouri is called). He needs 1237 to win the nomination outright. Since 1141 delegates remaining this means he has to pull about 54% of the remaining delegates.
Of the 19 remaining states, 14 of them are either “winner take all” or “winner take most.” With this in mind, if Trump wins 7-9 of the “winner take all/most” states (depending on which ones) and takes a reasonable share well in the 4 remaining proportional states, he should win the nomination. In theory, he could lose a majority of the remaining states and still win the nomination outright.
We believe this is an easy lift for Trump.
Cruz would need to win about 75% of the remaining delegates. This means he would have to win 12-14 of the remaining “winner take all/most” states and do very well in the proportional states. This is not likely to happen unless Trump has a major meltdown of some kind.
Kasich would need 97% of the remaining delegates. This is statistically impossible, unless both Trump and Cruz get hit by a bus.