Monday, March 14, 2016

March 15 Tomorrow is D-Day For Donald Trump

The outcome of the Republican Party primary elections tomorrow is D-Day for Donald Trump, and will either give him an unassailable lead, or create the real possibility of a “brokered” nomination convention.

In the latter case—where no one candidate amasses enough delegates to clinch the nomination—the Republican Party’s controllers will edge him out. The reason for the day of decision is because after the polling on March 15, more than half of all Republican delegates will have been allocated.

Currently, Trump has 460 delegates, and his main contender, Ted Cruz, has 370. The closeness of this battle hides the fact that, realistically, only Trump has the ability to reach the 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination. However, it is equally possible that no candidate will be able to reach this total—and this is what is going to be decided tomorrow.

Five states will be voting: Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio. In Florida and Ohio, the delegate allocation is on a “winner takes all” basis. There are 99 delegates in Florida, and 66 in Ohio. In Illinois, there are 69 delegates. Twelve of these are “statewide delegates” elected by a straight majority vote, but the rest are allocated three per congressional district.

In Missouri, there are 52 delegates, also with twelve being “statewide,” and the rest apportioned out according to a formula based on their vote totals per congressional district. In North Carolina, there are 72 delegates, which are allocated on the basis of one delegate per 1.39 percent of the statewide vote.

In Illinois, Trump has a lead over Ted Cruz and is likely to win the statewide delegates. However, Cruz seems set to outperform Trump in the western and southern congressional districts of the state, meaning that they will likely share the remaining delegates—possibly even in Cruz’s favor.

Currently, Trump is on course to win Florida, but is tied neck-and-neck with Kasich in Ohio—at least according to the latest polls. In North Carolina, polls have Trump leading with 44 percent of the vote.

Given these facts, three scenarios are possible:

1)  Trump wins Florida and Ohio: This would push him into a commanding position, and he would then only need to win 52 percent of all the remaining delegates to win the nomination. Currently, he has won 45 percent of all the available delegates, but, as the field narrows, it is very possible he could breach the 52 percent mark.

2) Trump wins Florida but loses Ohio to Kasich, a scenario which is not only possible but the most likely alternative. If this should occur, Trump would have to win 59 percent of all the remaining delegates to secure the nomination. This is an extremely difficult task, even if all the remaining state primaries are generally more favorable to Trump than Cruz.

3) Trump loses both Florida and Ohio. This is an unlikely scenario, but if it does happen, then it is almost certain that no candidate will reach the 1,237 delegate mark, and a brokered convention will result. In this scenario, the only way that Trump could still clinch the nomination would be to win 69 percent of all the remaining delegates, something which is only possible in theory, but highly unlikely in practice.

The conclusion is clear: if Trump wins both the winner-takes-all races in Ohio and Florida, he will be the Republican nominee. If he loses one or both, then it becomes more likely that there will be a brokered Republican Party convention.

Related posts at following links:
Donald Trump: Next President of United States