Nate Silver has some interesting Delegate Count Analysis regarding the number of delegates each candidate needs to win tonight to stay on the path for the nomination.
Silver did not say so directly, but odds for anyone but Trump hitting their count are ridiculous. With that in mind, let’s just spotlight Trump’s “Magic Numbers”, from the perspective of what Silver thinks Trump needs to do.
Currently, Silver has Trump ahead of where he needs to be heading into today’s primaries. Can Trump hold his lead?
Trump’s Nomination Path
Delegates In Play Tonight
Note that Silver has all of the candidates needing Florida. That cannot happen. Trump is the overwhelming (99%) favorite to win that state.
I expect Kasich will win Ohio. That’s a winner-take-all state.
Illinois has 69 delegates. The winner gets 15. I project Trump will get 21 of the remaining 54 delegates (39%). That is how I derived 36.
North Carolina is proportional. That’s unfortunate from the perspective of Donald Trump. I expect Trump will win 42% of the vote and delegates. This would give Trump another 30.
There is little polling data for Missouri. Cruz might do very well. Going out on a limb, I give Trump 35% of the vote. Assuming that is enough for first place, that will be good for 12 delegates. 35% of the remaining 40 is 14. I doubt Trump does much better than 26. Cruz could win the state.
I do not believe Trump needs to win Ohio, but if he does, it’s all over. The remaining states are more favorable to Trump, but he will have to dominate if he does lose Ohio.
That said, things change if Rubio and Kasich drop out, likely even to Trump’s benefit. Another possibility is Rubio alone drops out and supports Kasich. That scenario would be to the clear advantage of Trump.
I do not believe Silver’s math properly takes into consideration the dropout possibilities.
Here is a Comment from Silver explaining Illinois and Missouri. Both states are more Winner-Take-All than I thought.
Unlike what you may have heard, Missouri and Illinois are not proportional states. They are basically winner take all, some by congressional district and some by the statewide vote. If one candidate wins one of the states by a wide margin, he is likely to come close to taking all the delegates. That’s what happened in South Carolina, when Trump won all the delegates with just 33 percent of the vote. If Trump ends up winning both states by more than 5 percentage points, despite losing Ohio, he’ll have had a strong night. Indeed, more delegates are at stake in Illinois (69) than in Ohio (66), and Illinois and Missouri , together (121), have more than Florida (99).
Some complex rules are in play. In Illinois, these rules favor Trump. In Missouri, I have no idea who they favor.
There are no polls. This was unexpected pot luck. Expectations were mainstream candidates would win.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock