I Come to Bury Cruz, Not to Praise Him

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

“Friends, Republicans, Pulse readers, lend me your ears; “I come to bury Cruz, not to praise him.”

Last night, Donald Trump won everywhere. The margins were absolutely staggering: 29 points in Connecticut. 31 points in Maryland. 35 points in Pennsylvania. 39 points in Rhode Island. 40 points in Delaware. He didn’t finish below 55 percent in a single state.

These are not margins that can be explained away by geography or demographics. These margins are a symptom of a campaign that has now concluded.

Delegates

Trump won 109 of 118 pledged delegates available last night, not counting Pennsylvania’s 54 unpledged delegates, bringing his delegate total to 954. He is now just 283 delegates away from clinching the nomination (1,237) with 488 delegates remaining, and again, that is assuming Trump wins none of Pennsylvania’s 54 unpledged delegates, which is a faulty assumption to make.

More reports on the allegiances of Pennsylvania’s 54 unpledged delegates are likely to emerge in the coming days, but a CNN report yesterday gave us some insight. CNN interviewed most of the delegate candidates, and of the candidates, 25 percent said they would support Trump, and 42 percent said they would support their district’s choice. If this polling holds true with the 54 elected delegates, Trump should win approximately 36 of the 54 delegates’ votes on the first ballot at the Republican convention. That would bring his total delegate total to 990, needing just 247 of the 488 remaining delegates to clinch the nomination. Continue Reading

I Attended a Trump Rally: Here’s What Went Down

Donald Trump (photo credit: iprimages via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

On Friday, I made the trip out to Harrington, Delaware, to attend one of Donald Trump’s rallies as “one of the world’s most dishonest people,” a member of the media. Doors to the event opened at 12 p.m., but when I arrived at 11:30, the line to get in had already snaked around the venue and out into the parking lot. As I made my way past the line to the security checkpoint near the press entrance, I saw people from all walks of life standing in line, with the sun beating down on them.

The typical media coverage for these events simply doesn’t give a sense for the type of crowd that Trump is able to draw. From the finely tailored suits to the Dale Earnhardt t-shirts, and from white senior citizens to Hispanic teenagers, the crowd had all of the demographic bases covered — without even a hint of self-segregation or bigotry from any of the different groups of people.

When the first few people began to trickle into the event, I left the press area to ask them when they got in line. They took their spot in line at three in the morning — a full thirteen hours before Trump was slated to speak — and they weren’t alone, as several groups of people arrived around the same time in order to make sure they got a good spot in line.

In the hours between noon, when the doors opened, and 4 p.m., there was a steady stream of people flowing into the event. Continue Reading

Donald Trump Wins New York. What Now?

From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Donald Trump

Last night, Donald Trump won New York in emphatic fashion. Not only did he win with more than 60 percent of the vote, but according to current results, he managed to win 90 of 95 delegates in the state, exceeding even the most optimistic of expectations. John Kasich won the other 5 delegates, and Ted Cruz won zero.

After several bad nights in a row, Trump is back to being a winner. So will New York help him get to the magic number of 1,237 delegates?

Here’s where we stand currently:

Pre-New York Delegate Count (via RealClearPolitics):

  • Donald Trump: 756
  • Ted Cruz: 559
  • John Kasich: 144

Updated Delegate Count:

  • Donald Trump: 846
  • Ted Cruz: 559
  • John Kasich: 149

Trump needs just 391 delegates to hit the magic number. There are 664 delegates remaining. That means he needs to win 59 percent of them to secure the nomination. Can he do it?

It’s certainly not impossible, but he would need an impressive showing next Tuesday. Five states vote on Tuesday — Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. 172 delegates are up for grabs.

Here’s how it will go down:

Connecticut (28 delegates)

Connecticut awards 15 delegates winner-take-all by congressional district (3 delegates from each of 5 districts), and awards its remaining 13 at-large delegates proportionally, unless one candidate wins a true majority (50 percent + one) of the popular vote.

That’s complex, so I’ll give you a couple examples. Continue Reading