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Politics & Policy

The Road Ahead for Trump Might Be Almost as Friendly as New York

From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:

The Road Ahead for Trump Might Be Almost as Friendly as New York

No point in disputing it; Trump needed a big win in New York yesterday and he got it. Yes, there will be some chuckling that he lost the GOP primary in Manhattan to a guy who eats pizza with a fork, But he needed as many of those delegates as he could possibly get, and he won 90 out of 95.

The New York Times treats him like Alexander the Great, fresh from a sweeping conquest:

If Mr. Trump’s opponents hoped for even scattered signs of voters recoiling from his candidacy, there were none to be seen. He won voters of every age, race and income level, and he prevailed with two groups — college-educated voters and women — who have often rejected him. That adds up to a considerable show of strength for a candidate who still faces a narrow path to clinching the Republican nomination, even after a sweep or near sweep of his home state’s 95 delegates.

(Let’s also keep in mind that twice as many Democrats voted in the New York primary than Republicans. If Bernie Sanders voters had voted in the GOP primary, the Vermont senator would have won by 230,000 votes.)

For what it’s worth, John Kasich knocked 214,000 votes off his 500,000 vote margin behind Marco Rubio.

Henry Olson argues that Trump’s win is a matter of demographics…

Trump’s massive strength should also come as no surprise. He has always been doing better in states with large numbers of non-religious and Catholic voters, and New York’s GOP electorate have large shares of both. He also does much better with moderates and somewhat conservatives than with very conservative Republicans, and New York’s Republicans are decidedly to the left of the national party. Simple demographic analysis would always have suggested he would win with well over 40 percent of the vote; add in the home state advantage and you get the landslide margins that are about to unfold.

But this means a week from now, Trump might be having an even better night, winning big in a bunch of demographically-similar states where rivals won’t be able to hand-wave it away as a reflection of a home-state advantage. In Connecticut, it’s easy to see him winning 20-something out of the 28 delegates. In Maryland, maybe Kasich competes well in the D.C. suburbs, maybe not. It certainly doesn’t seem like natural Cruz territory. But give Trump another 20-something out of 32. There’s no polling in Delaware, which is winner-take-all; let’s assume Trump wins that and takes all 16.  In Rhode Island, the rules are particularly complicated because the state’s delegates are “proportionally bound” to the finishes in the congressional districts (the state only has two) and statewide. Unless someone wins big (more than two-thirds of the vote) or abysmal (less than 10 percent) the three delegates that are apportioned to finish in each congressional district are going to split 1-1-1. Out of the 19, let’s say Trump gets 15 at most, maybe fewer.

Pennsylvania is complicated with a whole bunch of unbound delegates, three from each congressional district; but the clearer portion is that 17 delegates are bound on the first ballot to the statewide winner. You have to figure this is the state that Cruz and Kasich will see as the most-friendly territory, and put the most time and effort into winning.

Even if you throw out Pennsylvania, Trump will probably wake up April 27 with another 80-some delegates. 

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