Until tonight, Donald Trump had not reached 50 percent in any primary or caucus race. In his home state of New York, however, Trump has won 60 percent of the vote, with almost 90 percent of precincts having reported. John Kasich is in second place with 25 percent. Ted Cruz is at 15 percent.
No one expected Cruz to do well in New York. The RCP poll average had him at 18 percent. It’s depressing, though, to see the candidate I support, and who may well be the Republican nominee, performing so poorly in New York.
The big question for Trump is how many of New York’s 95 delegates he will claim. The answer seems to be quite a few more than expected not long ago.
The consensus of the panel of experts assembled by FiveThirtyEight about a month ago was that Trump would win 71 delegates in New York. It looks like he’s going to exceed that projected number by between 15 and 20 delegates (in other words, his haul will probably be in the 86-91 range, and very possibly at the high end).
This would still leave Trump off pace to secure the required 1,237 delegates via primaries, caucuses and state conventions. So the question is: can Trump exceed expectations — i.e., pick up the pace — in states contiguous to New York, namely Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, all of which have yet to vote?
The answer is: only to a very limited extent. He is projected to capture all of New Jersey’s delegates and all but one of Pennsylvania’s. So a virtual clean sweep in these states is already assumed in the projections that have him coming up short.
In Connecticut, Trump is projected to win 19 of 28 delegates. Thus, he could make up some ground there, but only a little bit.
In sum, this was a great night for Trump, but the odds remain against him getting to the magic number via the primary, caucuses, and state convention route.