March 05, 2016

The good news about Donald Trump

Trump smiling, eyes closed to reality.
Photo by Marc Nozell. Used with permission.
Donald Trump is not going to snag the Republican nomination: There will likely be a brokered convention.

Going into today, Trump had only won about 46-49% of the allocated Republican delegates; he needs at least 50% to win the nomination outright.

That may seem like a very narrow margin. But it really is not that narrow given the nature of the primaries and caucuses that lie ahead.

[Going forward, I use "primary" very loosely, referring to both primaries and caucuses.]

Until today, the vast majority of the Republican primaries have been “open.” In “open” primaries you don’t have to be a Republican to have your say in who should be the Republican nominee.

Some have speculated that a substantial number of Democrats have opted to vote in the Republican primaries instead of their own. The thinking is that they want to see Trump nominated. He would be relatively easy for Hillary Clinton to beat in November.

It may sound like a bit of a conspiracy theory, but the track record suggests it isn’t far-fetched.

Of the four Republican primaries that have been “closed,” Trump has won only one. Put another way, he has received only 70 of the 167 allocated “closed” delegates. That’s 42%.

Here’s the good news: Roughly 1800 Republican delegates are still up for grabs, and nearly 1100 of them come from “closed” primaries.

Trump currently has 329 delegates and he needs a total of 1237 delegates to win the nomination through the primaries. That means he needs to win at least 908 more delegates.

If Trump were to maintain his current capacity for capturing “closed” and “open” primary delegates (which is questionable given the way the mainstream media, social media, and prominent Republican leaders, like Mitt Romney, have increasingly lambasted him, for, inter alia, his instinct toward crimes against humanity, e.g., waterboarding and “a hell of a lot worse”), he would only win 726 to 743 more delegates. That would put him at just a touch over 1000 delegates—nearly 200 delegates shy of the magic 1237-delegate mark.

Tonight’s results will put this theory to a pretty good test. All four of today’s Republican primaries are “closed.” If precedent is predictive, of today’s 155 available delegates, Trump should only win about 65 of them.

Some preliminary results are already in for Kansas and Maine. And guess what? Trump is losing handily, regardless of what the polls had predicted would happen.

My faith in American humanity is beginning to grow again.

***UPDATE*** Trump is looking to do even worse than I predicted earlier today. Based on what has been reported, he'll only get around 57 delegates or 37% (opposed to 65 delegates or 42%). He'll technically "win" two of the states, but by slim enough margins. All and all, a great night for those who are not fans of Trump! Here's hoping the Trump Train is losing momentum!

Here's my breakdown of how many delegates will soon be coming from "closed" primaries.


This information is my synthesis of data
 found on Ballotpedia.org and Politico.com.