There is a lot to be said about tomorrow’s Pennsylvania Primary. There are 71 delegates up for grabs in the Keystone State, and that would go a long way toward the 1,237 that Donald Trump needs to put the nomination away. However, because of a rather arcane set of rules that Pennsylvania uses to award its delegates, Trump may be screaming soon about how rigged the process is.
In Pennsylvania, of the 71 delegates, only 14 are awarded on the basis of the statewide primary. Three more are delegated to party big-wigs, and that leaves 54 delegates that are elected based on congressional districts. So, while Trump leads Ted Cruz and John Kasich by a mile and a half, he could very well only edge them out in the vote. Currently Trump has 845 delegates. Cruz is second with 549, Marco Rubio, who dropped out of the race after the Florida primary has 171 that are still bound to him, and John Kasich has 148. There are a total of 172 delegates on the table tomorrow in five northeastern states, Pennsylvania being the largest prize.
It is very possible that Trump will crush the field in the popular vote, but end up on the short end when it comes to the delegate count because of the way the field is chosen. The other thing that is interesting about Pennsylvania is that voters there won’t see Trump or Cruz or Kasich on the ballot. They’ll see the names of the delegates, and unless they know the person or know who they back, they won’t know which candidate will be getting the support. The other thing that is interesting is that the congressional delegates are not bound to vote for the winner of the primary. So even if Trump wins, he could lose to Cruz who’s already on the ground trying to court the delegates.
There are still 101 other delegates out there in the four other states, 47 of whom will be awarded proportionally (Connecticut and Rhode Island), and the rest are Winner Take All. So Trump should get at least the 14 state-wide delegates from Pennsylvania and the 54 delegates from Delaware and Maryland. So even if Cruz does manage to take all of the additional congressional and super delegates from Pennsylvania, Trump still will end up with at least 68 delegates from WTA states, and a good deal of the proportional delegates. That takes him over 900 and is only 337 or so from the nomination. After tomorrow there are 502 delegates left to choose, so it’s a long shot for Trump to get to 1237, but it is possible.
The pundits are saying tomorrow should belong to Trump and the real interesting primary should be next Tuesday when Indiana votes. Its 57 delegates and Winner-Take-All, so it could be the turning point for Trump. If he fails to get the 57 delegates in Indiana, and doesn’t get at least 70 tomorrow, he’s in deep doo-doo.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!