- Reuters/Jim Young
Donald Trump’s path to clinching the Republican nomination ahead of the party’s July convention is looking increasingly improbable, according to FiveThirtyEight editor in chief Nate Silver.
Silver’s latest delegate projection for Trump showed him finishing at 1,155 delegates – 82 short of the 1,237 needed to secure the GOP bid heading into the convention. That number came from Silver’s “deterministic” model – which looked at the most likely outcome for Trump in each state.
In Silver’s prior projection, Trump picked up 1,208 delegates, still short of the needed number but conceivably an easier difference to overcome.
That projection came before Trump suffered a crushing defeat in Wisconsin to Ted Cruz, the Texas senator nipping at his heels. Silver had Trump winning 25 delegates in the state. He ended up with only six.
In his latest model, Trump was projected to romp through New York, which holds its primaries next Tuesday, with 85 of 95 delegates expected to go his way. He also was forecast to pick up all 51 delegates in winner-take-all New Jersey and more than half of the available delegates in California, the largest prize left on the map.
But Silver had Trump’s total in Indiana reduced from 37 to just nine in his latest model, projecting the state to turn from a Trump victory into an overall loss.
In order to hit the magic number of 1,237, Trump would need to have a huge win in Indiana in addition to picking up roughly 20 additional delegates in California, according to Silver.
Trump could also edge close to that total if he wins over a good chunk of Pennsylvania’s unbound delegation in late April. Republican Pennsylvania voters select their delegates by congressional district, and a total of 54 will be able to vote for whomever they want on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention.
“Trump could win slightly fewer delegates than I’m expecting in New York and Connecticut but make them up with a bigger win in California,” Silver wrote. “So we’re not yet at the point where absolutely everything has to go right for Trump to clinch 1,237 delegates after California; although he can’t afford major setbacks such as losing Indiana or Maryland.”
Here are Trump’s totals from Silver’s “deterministic” model – the one he believes is the most likely outcome for Trump in each state:
- Wyoming: 0New York: 85Maryland: 29Connecticut: 23Rhode Island: 9Pennsylvania: 17Delaware: 16Indiana: 9Nebraska: 0West Virginia: 29Oregon: 11Washington: 15California: 94New Jersey: 51South Dakota: 0Montana: 0New Mexico: 9Total: 397Overall: 1,155
And here are Trump’s totals from Silver’s “path-to-1,237” model – essentially, the split that would have to happen for Trump to clinch the nomination:
- Wyoming: 1New York: 91Maryland: 32Connecticut: 28Rhode Island: 10Pennsylvania: 17Delaware: 16Indiana: 48Nebraska: 0West Virginia: 33Oregon: 12Washington: 18California: 112New Jersey: 51South Dakota: 0Montana: 0New Mexico: 10Total: 479Overall: 1,237