In spite of the victory for Ted Cruz nothing has happened that has derailed the Trump Train. The incline has been increased so it will take more effort to get to the top of the hill but it can still be ascended. Trump needs to win 56% of the remaining delegates, Cruz 82%, and Kasich 124% to get to the nomination. Trump is the only one with a realistic path remaining. Cruz and Kasich combined would have to steal 45% of the remaining delegates to stop Trump. It certainly can be done but there is no way that Trump and Kasich combined will only get 18% or fewer of the outstanding delegates.
Trump trailed in Wisconsin by 10 points more than a week before the election so nothing he did in the last week really cost him the election there. Wisconsin is a very unique state in that its Republican governor, Scott Walker, has won election and staved off two recall attempts in his tenure. He has a very strong, conservative grassroots organization in that state. It is also bolstered by a strong conservative talk radio presence and many of those people are of the #NeverTrump crowd. With Walker’s endorsement of Cruz came that network of support and all of the GOP establishment support as well as Super PAC money targeting Trump. Literally, all the forces of nature that could be amassed were against Trump in Wisconsin. It is no surprise that he finished second with 35% of the vote. But his base remains loyal.
By the Numbers
An analysis by CNN’s John King estimated that Trump reaches the convention leading Cruz by hundreds of delegates but finishing shy of the needed 1,237 to clinch the nomination. An analysis by Bill Hemmer on Fox News had Trump coming only 40 votes shy of the 1,237 he needs. If you follow the estimates in the New York Times then Trump is still on pace to win the 1,237 he needs by the time of the convention. Truthfully, no one knows exactly how all the delegates will fall but the polling shows that Trump is clearly headed toward finishing hundreds of delegates ahead of Cruz. If he comes close he may be able to sway enough of the 150 unbound delegates to his side and win on the first ballot. But Ted Cruz has no chance of ever catching Donald Trump based upon the states remaining.
Ted Cruz can’t draw flies in New York. His rally today had 97 people in attendance. His comment about “New York values” a few debates ago has killed what little chance he had against his native New Yorker opponent. Trump did not mind reminding his crowd at his Bethpage rally about Cruz’s remarks. Why is Cruz even bothering? It is called desperation.
What Cruz knows is that he has only a few days left to remain mathematically viable. Estimates are that he will be eliminated from being able to reach the 1,237 mark by April 26th. He is hoping to keep Trump under 50% in New York state so Trump doesn’t take all of the delegates. Polling by Monmouth today shows that Cruz has 17% support while Trump is at 52% and Kasich is at 25%. The Real Clear Politics average of polls has Trump at 53%. In order to be eligible to get any delegates a candidate must have 20% of the vote. That leaves Cruz out right now. However, if Trump can get the majority of the vote (over 50%) then he gets all 95 delegates. Cruz is hoping to keep Trump under 50% and at the very least have Kasich get some of the delegates if he himself is unable to get to 20% in order to get some.
New York is the only state voting on the 19th. On the 26th you have other Trump-leaning states voting: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Whatever slim chance that Cruz has left to reach 1,237 coming out of New York will likely be crushed on the 26th.
As I wrote in my previous column, it is all but over for Ted Cruz. He cannot be elected by the people to be the nominee of the Republican party. His only hope is to try to muck up things for Trump to the point that Trump cannot reach the 1,237 number. Then he hopes to be the choice of the delegates at the convention and usurp Trump. Of course John Kasich hopes to do the same thing. At this point it has ceased to be an election and turned into a game of Strategy. Is it any wonder that people get frustrated with politics? People vote and they expect the one with the most votes to be the winner. But political systems have ways to circumvent the will of the voters. As for me, like Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, I think the winner of the popular vote should be the nominee. If it comes to a contested convention, I hope the delegates think the same.