Primaries were held this evening in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland and Delaware. Billionaire Donald Trump has won every state by large margins.
While his victory was expected, the margins were far higher than the polls would have indicated. Mr. Trump received over 55% of the popular vote all 5 primaries. This goes a long way in dispelling talk about a brokered convention.
Governor Kasich took second place in 4 of 5 primaries, but with margins only in the 20% range. His delegate count is low, we still believe his sweet spot is VP.
Senator Cruz came in dead last in 4 of 5 primaries, picking up second place only in Pennsylvania by 2 points. This is especially problematic for Cruz who has claimed he is the logical anti-Trump candidate and expects to be nominated in a brokered convention. His worthiness can certainly be called into question with a third place finish in 5 of the last 6 primaries. A recent “alliance” with Kasich allows Cruz to concentrate on Indiana, while Kasich goes to Oregon and New Mexico. Trump currently leads Cruz in polls in Indiana by an average 7 points.
At this point, Mr. Trump appears to have 950 delegates and needs another 287 to reach the magic number of 1237. He needs slightly less than half of the remaining 622 delegates to clinch the nomination (these figures may change by morning).
Since 54 of the Pennsylvania delegates are “unbound” and since Trump won overwhelmingly there, it is likely more than half of those delegates will be in the Trump camp. CNN’s interview of the delegates indicates 25% of the delegates will vote for the frontrunner and 42% will vote for their own district’s choice.
Even if Mr. Trump should fall short of bound delegates, plenty of unbound delegates from various sources will likely vote for him. While the Cruz campaign has been adept at maneuvering the selection of delegates favorable to Cruz, statistically Trump should easily pick up dozens of extra delegates to vote for him in the first round. In fact, the simple statement of a few days ago that Trump likes Rubio and might consider him as VP will likely sway some delegates originally intended for Rubio before his departure from the race.