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

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

Cruz Collapses on the Eastern Seaboard

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

Just over a month ago in the first week of March, Donald Trump was at just 34 percent in the state of Maryland, while Ted Cruz was in striking distance in second with 25 percent and John Kasich had 18 percent.

Fast forward to the latest Monmouth poll in Maryland, which has Trump commanding 47 percent of the vote, with Kasich second at 27 percent and Cruz fading to just 19 percent.

Maryland is not the only state where this is happening: in mid-March, a Franklin and Marshall Pennsylvania poll had Trump with just a third of the vote, 3 points ahead of Kasich, with Cruz trailing at 20 percent. The latest Fox News Pennsylvania poll has Trump surging to 48 percent of the vote, with Cruz still stuck at 20 percent.

A new Emerson Connecticut poll has Trump at 50 percent, with Cruz at 17 percent.

This is a Cruz campaign in trouble: his message of beating Donald Trump appears to be backfiring with voters who want a candidate who stands for something and think Donald at least does that.

The Northeast was always better territory for Trump — a culture in which they do not mind their politicians brash, brassy and swaggering.

Still a month ago, Trump was hovering around a third of the vote. Now he is at 50 percent.

Cruz’s message of “Trusted” was always narrowly focused on internal conservative politics, not outwardly focused on what electing him will do for the American people. Continue Reading

My Prediction: Trump Won’t Break 1,000 Delegates

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Donald Trump is headed to victory in New York, but the question is: can he can break the 50 percent barrier? I think not because lately he’s been underperforming his polls.

But looking ahead, things start to get really tough for Trump, who continues to face massive resistance for a front runner and who has refused to invest in an actual campaign infrastructure to fight for delegates.

Two polls show Trump ahead in California and Maryland (by 7 and 10 points, respectively), but Trump is polling at only 39 percent in California and 40 percent in Maryland.

Meanwhile, the rich delegate pile in Pennsylvania (where Trump is also at 39 percent, 9 points ahead of Ted Cruz, who typically outperforms his polls by around 5 percentage points) is going to depend on getting voters to vote not for your name in the primary but for the delegates who will actually vote in the convention, and whose names are not matched with any candidates on the ballot.

Who would bet against Cruz pulling off the massive share of actual delegates in Pennsylvania? Trump will threaten to sue, again. But the delegates will vote for Cruz.

It’s a messy system, but nobody has ever had a Pennsylvania GOP presidential primary vote that mattered. Winning requires more than appearing on TV for free. Trump has exhausted that strategy. He’s going to see diminishing returns — yes, even in New York.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @MaggieGallaghe. Continue Reading