Starting with the projections of a Panel of Experts on Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website, and deviating surprisingly little, I project Trump will win the Republican nomination, albeit with a scant margin of nine.
State by State Details
Some of the expert projections cannot happen. For example: Nebraska, Delaware, and Pennsylvania are all winner take all states. One of the experts made a mistake but the averages are shown.
I accepted the consensus estimates, plus or minus 1, in 15 of 18 cases. In the 19th case (uncommitted delegates), the experts made no prediction. I do not expect Trump to win many of those, but I do not expect he will lose every one of them. I awarded Trump a mere 15 out of 125.
Some states I know very little about and there are no recent polls. Five states, shaded in blue, (Colorado, Connecticut, Oregon, Washington, and New Mexico) are places where I went with the expert opinion. However, I suspect Trump can pick up a handful somewhere.
Montana appears to be rigged as delegates are selected by the County Central Committee, but perhaps Trump can unexpectedly pick up a few of those.
My big pickups are New York (+15), Indiana (+8), and California (+25).
New York is winner take all by district, with the proviso one candidate receives 50% of the vote. There are another 14 at large delegates that will go to the overall winner, again with a 50% margin or more.
Trump is polling extremely well in New York, over 50%. I gave Trump 14 at the state level.
At the district level, if at least 2 presidential contenders receive 20% or more of the vote, the candidate with the most votes receives 2 delegates and the candidate with the second most of votes receives 1 delegate.
Curiously, this math helps Trump. Kasich will take votes from Cruz, not Trump. Is Kasich about to drop out? If not, he helps Trump at the district level, but potentially hurts Trump at at the state level.
The experts gave Indiana to Trump. My rationale for Indiana was to simply go with the experts and work backwards.
Indiana awards 30 delegates to the overall winner. I put those in Trump’s column.
Indiana has another 27 delegates (9 districts of 3 delegates each). I gave Trump a modest 5 of those 9 to reach my total of 45.
If the experts are correct overall, I will beat them. If the experts are wrong, I will do much worse.
California is a curious bird.
Silver’s Polls-Only California Forecast says Trump has a 65% chance of winning. However, based on his secret sauce, Silver says Cruz has a 61% chance of winning.
This is how the secret sauce projects things.
I find Silver’s secret sauce all the more incredible because Silver projects Trump to have a 49% chance of winning the nomination.
Adding to the confusion, Silver’s expert panel has Trump winning the state.
Here’s the deal: If Cruz were to win California by those margins, Trump would not now realistically have a 49% chance of coming up with the delegates, unless I am way off on my assignment of a mere 15 of 125 uncommitted delegates in Trump’s camp.
Alternatively, Trump can do better in states like Colorado, Connecticut, Oregon, Washington, and New Mexico, coupled with 25 of 125 of the uncommitteds.
Bottom Line – Close to Tossup
My projection is not fearless.
All I did was extrapolate expert opinions in the logical direction based on state-by-state analysis of delegate assignment rules from the Green Papers.
We are very close to a tossup here. I placed Trump over the top, but barely, explaining my sauce. Other sauce remains secret.
Things can dramatically change one way or another between now and California.
If Silver gets to update his forecasts, so do I.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
I’d like to see Trump either win, in which case there may be some hope for a less corporately controlled GOP or see Trump lose, which might destroy it completely.
Rual Pyan said:
I agree. I’m pulling for Trump and Sanders for this exact same reason. They both are ripping their parties a part form the inside out and it’s a glorious thing to watch.
But on the other hand, Trump vs Shillary debates would be the entertainment of the year!
Herman Goodfellow said:
Trump will destroy it completely. Good riddance.
Rick Sandberg said:
“If Silver gets to update his forecasts, so do I.” Good call 🙂
Rick Sandberg Fresno
David Sisler (@davesizzle) said:
who supplies the voting machines?
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If we were to assume it was a fair race, that there wasn’t dirty dealings going on in the background, this analysis would be good, but we can’t assume that. What we know is that the RNC is desperate to stop Trump, Priebus stated publicly that the RNC will not relinquish its control to the Donald even if he does win the nomination….something that has NEVER happened before. We have RNC surrogates like Romney stating very publicly that their intent is to stop Trump, supporting Cruz, Kasich, Rubio, ANYONE who might win the state contest, to take away votes for Trump. We know Cruz is by no means their favorite and that he is likely being used SOLELY to initiate a brokered or contested convention and once that happens, you can bet it will be anyone but Trump OR Cruz. They make the rules. If neither achieves the required votes, a more “suitable” candidate will be selected for us. And given the the RNC can withhold financial and logistical support from any of these candidates, we will be faced with supporting a candidate that NEITHER party will support. DOOMED
What all of this makes terribly transparent is that this is NOT a democratic process. The parties are OWNED and do not even PRETEND to represent the will of the people. We are having our nominees SELECTED for us, and then asked to support the lesser of evils. I have no issue with choosing the lesser of evils as that is our daily lives (unless we are living in some Utopian delusion), but these choices do NOT represent the result of the citizens of this country, ultimately only the choices of delegates that are largely self appointed by the parties and in NO WAY represent me or my interests.
This needs to end…NOW.
Mad – good comments.
Agree with this. If Trump were considered a legitimate party member by the RNC, he would win. He isn’t so he will probably fall just short. My prediction is about 30-40 delegates short. Keep in mind Cruz operatives are doubling back on delegates who went for Trump and trying to switch their votes in North Carolina and other places.
Mish’s analysis is perfect if this were a fair fight. It isn’t for Trump and so the RNC will win the battle but lose the war to the Democrats in November.
It’s definitely not a fair fight, but the only one who can stop Trump at this point is Trump. He needs to think before he speaks.
I will provide a new assessment after NY.
This will be close.
NY and CA the key. Trump needs to do very well.
Well said Mish. To me if Trump were halfway polished but not as polished as a politician, he would be winning in a landslide in the nomination and in the general. 8 years after Obama was elected, the country is still seeking hope and change and is mad about it this time. Trump needs to help them channel that anger into productivity and belief. He can still win b/c about 60-70% of the electorate is forgiving and has short memories. No one cares as long the next leader turns the ship in the right direction.
I believe that Trump will be denied the Republican nomination at a “brokered” convention and will run as a third party candidate – possibly on the Libertarian platform. Hillary (as deeply flawed a candidate as we have ever seen run for President) will inevitably win the Democratic nomination, alienating a large swath of their base – especially the young. This sets the stage for a nightmare scenario, where no candidate wins the necessary 270 electoral votes to win the Presidency, and the election goes to the Congress to decide. This is a Congress with an abysmally low approval rating, and whatever they decide will be deemed unacceptable to a large segment of the voting public. We are in for a very bumpy ride….
Most people do not even know what a Libertarian is. As a Libertarian myself, I can tell you that Trump has a lot of positions that are un-libertarian. His good points are he is also un-GOP and not a liberal. Call his the “Wild Card” party. It is nice to see a breath of fresh air in a presidential race; that air has been very stale for a long time. I suppose some folks thought Obama would be a breath of fresh air, but as it turns out you were fooled, unless you like socialism, which is un-American.
Who knows… if Trump ran with Gary Johnson then he could STILL win the South, lots of the Midwest along with Gary Johnson’s state (New Mexico). With Trump running third party, and if Hillary wins the Democratic nomination (as looks likely), I don’t see the GOP standard (pall?) bearer winning many electoral votes — if any.
Trump could not run on the libertarian ticket because none of his wiggly positions are libertarian. There is not a libertarian bone in his body. Last time I checked, libertarians do not care for authoritarian types.
If the forecasts are correct, then the nomination is Trump’s to lose. To win he will have to get treatment for his foot-in-mouth disease, and behave much more like a real politician.
CJ – “behave more like a real politician” – do you mean a liar who is slick, smooth, cunning, in other words, a psychopath? I agree that Trump has put his foot in his mouth. Apparently now he’s got new advisors advising him. That should help immensely. He needs to get back to policy, not posting his wife’s pictures and bickering.
But his off-the-cuff remarks in a way of refreshing, especially since no “real” politician would ever f*ck up like that. They just lie until they get elected, and then do as they please.
” do you mean a liar who is slick, smooth, cunning, in other words, a psychopath? ” Good question, backwards. No I definitely do not mean another Clinton. I really just meant someone who could disconnect his mouth from the first thing that pops in his head, and do more research on the issues. If Trump can just do that he will be our next pres.
There is still a slim chance we have a Rule of Law in this country, and much to the Shock & Awe of Slick Hillary who thinks she can get away with anything by stonewalling, maybe the FBI will indict her for her certified crimes of leaking state secrets. That law says it does not even matter if the leakage was intentional or just stupid sloppiness. That law says anyone who does that cannot work for the government. It’s really a definitive case of whether or not we still have a Rule of Law in this country.
Personally I prefer the “foot in mouth” over the politician.
mad – I do too. At least you know he’s human and makes mistakes. But in order to win, he needs to get back to his policies: stress the “rule of law”, hammer on the secretive trade agreements, negotiating peace instead of constant war, etc. I read a Charles Hugh Smith piece that said that 90% of all campaign donations end up at corporate media. Corporate media is out to get Trump right now, and anything he says they’ll just go nuts on. CNN is just one Trump-hate-a-thon.
Mr. Forgot said:
Trump is an extreme extrovert. These type of people think out loud. They speak first and react to the feedback. It is very hard for these type of individual to self moderate their thought process – it’s so automatic. Maybe this is why he now has his wife with him. She may provide the moderating influence.
If the following one-minute video is true (Voter Fraud in Wisconsin), then the GOP are playing dirty.
Endangered Species said:
California Republicans will allocate delegates on a winner take all for each Congressional district. Therefore, someone could win the popular vote statewide by carrying Orange County, San Diego, the Central Valley, and other heavily Republican areas, but lose the delegate count to a candidate who carries the majority of Republican voters in Marin County, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other Democratic controlled areas.
I suspect that the four Republicans in Marin County will meet for coffee at Starbucks in San Rafael, since the Corte Madera Denny’s has closed, and decide who will be our delegate.
Common Sense said:
The GOP would NEVER switch votes to Cruz, because Cruz is the real “anti-Establishment” candidate, and they are not eager to see him nominated. But there are reports all the time about votes being switched in various elections around the country each year, and that’s been happening for at least as long as we’ve been voting by machine.
Diogenes of Sinope said:
It appears as though Donald Trump will be the 2016 Republican nominee for president. How does Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan feel about that?
He feels the same way O.J. Simpson felt upon learning that Kato Kaelin would be moving into the guest quarters in Brentwood. He doesn’t understand it and he’s not happy about it. Nevertheless, like O.J., there ISN’T ONE DAMN THING HE CAN DO ABOUT IT.
That’s because the American voter (Nicole Brown) has made their decision and theirs is the only opinion that counts. So it’s a done deal.
Someday, it may get undone.
Someday, there may be reprisal.
Someday, Ryan, McConnell, Romney and the rest of the GOP Beltway establishment may render unto the Trump campaign the same kind of treatment that O.J. had in store for Ms. Brown.
It will be brutal and bloody. Isn’t that the way democracy usually dies?
CJ – agreed. Trump needs to just stop, take a breath, and think just a little more before answering questions. He can still be a bit rough and colorful, but he could let the petty stuff go. He needs to get back to his policies.
Oh how I would dearly love to see the “expert averages” for the already completed primaries (Iowa through Wisconsin). It would be grate to graph those averages against reality.
Oops – that great not grate (though it could be grating).
Common Sense said:
Trump is a ringer for Hillary, his good friend! He’s about as corporate as you can get! He stands for Big Centralized government (as in Big Military, Big Wall) not small, decentralized gov’t and a return to US Constitution and individual rights (as Ted Cruz does.) Besides, over 70% of women don’t like Trump and won’t vote for him! Even if he somehow got the nomination, he’d NEVER NEVER beat his friend Hillary in the general election….which is why the MSM is shilling for Trump and giving him so much air time in the first place! Trump is a spoiler, that’s all…
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The alternatives offered by the party are just as bad as Trump. So like many voters I’m forced to choose Trump. It is now obvious that a series of big wins by Trump did not silence the political pundits and naysayers who are in a tither and want him to vanish from the race.
Many of these insiders have simply underestimated how angry the voters are. As far as the issue of a candidate providing “specific plans” since when and why would that be important? The sad reality is specifics don’t matter and vision trumps promises. More on this subject in the article below;
Old Guy said:
Advancing here is my take.
I wish Trump would get elected. Give the man a chance to solve some of the problems he states in his campaign. You are correct voters are angry voting for their representative and they just do as they please. So we want another career politician because they are doing such a bang up job!! Why not try someone that is not a politician? I definitely am tired of the same ole people promising the same ole freebies and then doing as they please for the most part. We need jobs not more of the same ole crap. Hillary will just push thru the TPIT and be done with US jobs.
Old Guy said:
I will believe it when I see Trump nominated. The republican party is imploding and you can see the corruption openly now if you only look. I will not make a prediction on this one as the RNC may well go against the voters. Some voters have checked their ballots and noticed that voting on the machines for Trump the paper trail it was Cruz. The voting process is just as corrupt for both parties. Computers are easy to change my friends.
No wonder only a third of us vote. Maybe they know it makes not difference. The third that vote may just be the ones fooling themselves.
Yancey Ward said:
The chart you provided, Mish, contains an error. Pennsylvania has 71 delegates to be allotted, not 17.
Yancey Ward said:
Nevermind- I see from the legend that most of Pennsylvania’s delegates are unaligned.
But the directly elected will more than likely contain a sizeable, if not majority, that are Trump’s, even if they are unbound. PA is very strong for him and he has establishment support there (Marino and Barletta have endorsed). A big deal was made of Cruz picking up a dozen or so supporters from ND, neglecting to mention the rest of the 28 delegates are Trump leaning.
Finally the race is a dynamic process, if Trump is almost home who is to say voters won’t rally round him and he will win Montana where I would assume Cruz probably edges him at the moment.
I believe you should re-think your projections for the state of Montana.
From the MT Greenpapers site: “All of Montana’s delegates … are bound to vote for the winner of the Montana Republican Primary … through the first ballot, if that candidate’s name is placed in nomination.”
Current pole results in Montana have Trump 39 percent to 20 percent for Cruz.
I hope you are correct
As I said, I simply went with the experts on most states
If Trump wins Montana he will have a far easier time of it
South Dakota, same thing.
Nebraska, same thing.
If the “Peoples of Color” are smart, and if the Muslims are smart, they will lie low and DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING from now till after the elections.
Any riots or terrorism will help Trump. It needs to be All Quiet on the Western Front so that Trump does not win. This will enable those who hate us to attack after Hillary is in.
This War, World War 3, is in the early phase, a lot like the mobilizations on the same borders, but now with the Million Immigrants who are in Serbia-Bosnia (1914) and the Arab Immigrants in France (1940) looking to invade England.
What’s coming is going to be one freak show.
When it is clear Cruz will be a spoiler, he won’t get as many votes. He can pretend he is packing the convention, but it won’t work. And “But they lied to me” won’t work after McConnell.