The Republican nomination is going to be close. Nate Silver has Trump coming up short. I have Trump winning by a slim margin.

I am looking at some states where I likely underestimated Trump’s delegate count more than enough to matter.


A new Connecticut Poll came out on April 10-11.

Con Poll

That’s just one poll, but it’s significant. Moreover, if Trump wins big in New York on Tuesday, April 19, momentum will likely carry over for the Connecticut primary a week later.

According to Green Papers,  Connecticut awards 13 at-large delegates in a winner-take most fashion. If  someone gets over 50% they win them all.

There are 5 congressional districts with 3 delegates each going to the district winner. These all appear to be in Trump’s camp.

I only gave Trump 19 delegates out of 28, following Silver’s expert panel, simply because there were no polls.

I now estimate Trump will sweep all 28. That is a pickup of 9.

Rhode Island

I looked for a similar setup in Rhode Island but RI Rules pretty much assure any candidate that gets over 10% will split the proceeds.

Rhode Island went way out of it’s way to make the state totally irrelevant in all but the most extreme cases.


Pennsylvania has 71 delegates but only 17 of them are bound. That leaves a whopping 54 unbound.

Nate Silver explains things this way …

The stakes in Pennsylvania are higher than the 17 bound delegates imply, however. Voters will also elect 54 unbound delegates — three from each congressional district — directly on the ballot. See here for a sample of what this looks like: Unlike in other states where delegates are directly elected, such as Illinois and West Virginia, there’s no guidance on the primary ballot as to which candidates those delegates might support.

However, slightly more than half of Pennsylvania’s unbound delegates said they’d support the candidate who wins the popular vote statewide or in their districts, according to a survey conducted by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. True, those delegates could change their mind later, with an April primary being a fairly distant memory in the event of a July contested convention. But particularly if Trump (or some other candidate) wins the state emphatically, he could get a couple of dozen unbound Pennsylvania delegates to go along for the ride. At the very least, it’s worth thinking about the bloc of Pennsylvania delegates separately from other categories of unbound delegates; they’ll potentially be more amenable to Trump and are an underrated means by which he might get to 1,237 delegates if he pulls up a bit short after California.

That does not change my state total assignment of 17. But it does highlight the overall pessimism in my award of a mere 15 out of 125 uncommitted delegates to Trump.

If Trump wins Pennsylvania, especially by a large margin, he can easily pick up 27 uncommitteds in that state alone.

I was aware of this math before but purposely chose to maintain a cushion in my totals.

Updated Table

Here’s an update of my table as first posted in  Princeton Professor Projects Trump has 70% Chance of Winning Primary; Nate Silver on Trump’s Dwindling Chances; Silver vs. Mish.

silver vs. Mish2


Let’s assume Trump will do worse than my initial projection of 118.

I mentally took 9 delegates off making the California margin 109 for Trump and 63 for Cruz.

Now let’s review the California math according to Green Papers.

159 district delegates are to be bound to presidential contenders based on the primary results in each of the 53 congressional districts: each congressional district is assigned 3 National Convention delegates and the presidential contender receiving the greatest number of votes in that district will receive all 3 of that district’s National Convention delegates.

13 at-large delegates (10 base at-large delegates plus 0 bonus delegates plus 3 RNC delegates) are to be bound to the presidential contender receiving the greatest number of votes in the primary statewide.

To get to 109, Trump needs to pickup 13 at the state level plus win 32 of 53 California congressional districts at three delegates each.

Why not?

CA Polls

Those polls are not recent and my projections will change with the polls.

Trump’s Odds Way Better than Silver Believes

Awarding Trump 9 more in Connecticut but subtracting nine from California leaves everything the same. To get Trump over the top by 2, I still give Trump 15 of 125 uncommitted delegates.

If Trump wins Pennsylvania by a large margin, he may have as many as 37 uncommitted delegates in his pocket (27 in Pennsylvania plus another 10).

Things are looking far better for Trump than those writing him off would have you believe …. provided Trump can win Indiana.

More on Indiana coming up.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock