Wednesday, March 2, 2016

One Thousand Two Hundred Thirty Seven

This is a repeat post that was published right after the New Hampshire primary, on Feb. 15, 2016. 

1237  That is the number of delegates needed to win the Republican nomination. That is 50% +1 of the total delegates that will be at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July.

The delegates are what counts.  Nothing else matters.

So, far we have had the results come in from one caucus state, Iowa, and one small primary state, New Hampshire.  Ted Cruz won one and Donald Trump won the other one.  

Well there you go.  If you would hear it from some of the pundits, it's either all over, Trump is on a non-stop path to steam roll to the nomination, or it is down to a two man race, Trump vs. Cruz.  

Now let's look at reality, i.e., the delegate count from Real Clear Politics:  

Trump 17, Cruz 11, Rubio 10, Kasich 5, Bush 4, Carson 3.

That equals to Trump having 34% of the delegate count so far, not anywhere close the 50% +1 of delegates that is needed to win the nomination.  I know there are some winner take all states after the Super Tuesday states, but if Trump were to continue on the pace of winning 34% of the delegates that would give him 842 delegates. Remember what the magic number is, 1237.  He wouldn't be anywhere close to winning the nomination.  

Here is where the pundits are also wrong.  They have stated because the field hasn't narrowed to two or three people, that is great news for Donald Trump.  Yes, it is true that it would be better for the so-called establishment to have just one person [like Rubio] to face off against Cruz and Trump, but remember, we are in the phase of states that the delegates are awarded proportionally.  So, while, yes, it could aid Trump to win a state, like South Carolina, because the establishment votes will be split among 3 or 4 people, the delegates will still be proportionally awarded among all those candidates gaining more than 10% of the vote.  So, unless Trump can win with over 50% of the vote, it won't matter that the vote is not consolidated [yet] to one candidate against Trump.  Now, once we get past Super Tuesday and we get into winner take all states, then it will matter that there is only 3 candidates, so that the so-called non-establishment candidate can win many of the remaining states because Trump and Cruz will be dividing the outsider vote.  

To me, this is looking like someone other than Donald Trump who will win the GOP nomination, because, while his support is unyielding and strong, it has a ceiling of at most 35%, in my opinion.  That means in these early states when there is a big field [now 6 - I'm not counting Gilmore], that 35% won't be winning close to a majority of the delegates, even in the states that he wins.  Then, in the later winner take all states, when almost assuredly the field will narrow to 3, it will be Cruz and (for ex.) Rubio and Trump who will be splitting the states.  My opinion is that it would be Rubio who would be winning most of those states because the Trump, Cruz votes will be split almost evenly among similar voters.  

Now, this also means, almost assuredly, not just Trump but no other candidate will have a majority [1237] of delegates going into the convention and we will have an open convention.  

Why an open convention would bode well for a Rubio/Cruz ticket, that I am predicting now, please read my post from almost two months ago before this process even started:  "Why The GOP Ticket Will Be Marco Rubio/Ted Cruz".

So, keep this in mind when you hear those pundits say this race is over-Trump has it, or this is down to Trump vs. Cruz.  It is just the opposite.  This race isn't even close to being over and there are definitely more than two candidates who can win the GOP nomination.  

It's the delegates, stupid.
Super Tuesday UpdateNow with the results of Super Tuesday coming in, while Trump will win 7 or 8 of the states, with Cruz winning 2, Texas and Oklahoma, and Marco Rubio winning Minnesota, Trump did not steam roll with big wins across the board like some predicted.  In most of the states Trump won in the low to mid 30% that ceiling still seems to be there for Trump.  

Some were thinking Trump could have a huge night winning over 400 delegates, but it now looks like he will fall below the 300 delegate count.  So, Trump won't even be close to half the delegates [618] needed to win the nomination. And that is important because in two weeks we go into the winner take all states where if Rubio or Cruz or Kasich even win a state by one point, Trump will be getting 0 delegates in that state.

Another way to say this.  Forget what the pundits are telling you that Trump has this in the bag, this race is far from over.  

I believe Marco Rubio will win Florida and John Kasich will win Ohio, which means we are headed to a contested convention folks. Mark it down.

So remember when someone tells you the race is over because look at all the states Trump has won, you look at them and tell them, it's the delegates stupid.

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