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Flying to GOP Debate Instead of Big East Tournament

I made the difficult decision to board a plane to Miami for the GOP presidential debate rather than to New York for the Big East tournament.

One spreadsheet tracks the top basketball players, while the table below tracks scenarios for the GOP nomination. In the March Madness of politics, one of three things will happen:

  1. Trump wins outright and the GOP convention in Cleveland focuses on rallying behind the nominee. My 1309 – 1150 projection of “Trump” beating “Not Trump” is tighter than it was at the beginning of the week (1,393-1,079) but I still project Trump well above the 1,237 he needs. If he slips to 1,236 or below then one of two things will happen.
  2. “Runoff” Convention 2nd ballot. If voting stopped today, Trump would have 445 delegates and “Not Trump” would have 584, so assume in this scenario he never gets over the 50% he needs. Since Ted Cruz would have most of those – 353 – he would ask the delegates for Rubio, Kasich, and others to shift to him on a second ballot for the chance to win a simple brokered convention and becoming the nominee. If the second ballot played out that simply it would be just like a primary runoff. So why doesn’t Cruz was a brokered convention?
  3. “Complicated” Brokered Convention. Because no delegate is committed to anyone on the second ballot. Even a delegate elected to vote for Cruz or Trump on the first ballot early in the year only must hold that vote for one ballot, and some may have decided or be persuaded in the months leading up to the convention they would really rather have someone else. So while the logical process would have the delegates committed to the also-rans pick between the top two, they could also pick anyone they wanted to including Mitt Romney or someone else not in the running. That is the “complicated” broker convention that Rush Limbaugh and others fear.

The reason Trump projects to get to 1309 is that all of the states marked “A” under the “Take All” column below give a chance for one candidate to take all the votes and start to distance from the others.

If he wins all the “A” states in which I have him favored on the table, then he wins Florida 99-0, Illinois 69-0, Maryland 38-0 and New Jersey 51-0 and if he just splits the other “A” states he is in good shape.

If not, the top vote-getter on the first ballot who does not have 50 percent usually ultimately loses. I worked a Virginia effort where my candidate was in first place for the first four ballots and then lost to the guy who was in fourth place on the first ballot and is now a member of Congress. In Wisconsin my candidate for US Senate came in third place with 19 percent on the first ballot and I immediately told him he would win in the end, which he did.

Votes take all? Trump Not Trump Cruz Date
Projected final 2473 1309 1150 709
Current Total 1029 445 584 353
Alabama 50 b 36 14 13
Alaska 28 c 12 16 11
Am. Somoa 9 c 0 22-Mar
Arizona 58 a close 0 22-Mar
Arkansas 40 c 16 24 15
California 172 a close 0 close 7-Jun
Colorado 37 c close 0 close 9-Apr
Connecticut 28 b favor 0 26-Apr
DC 19 c 0 12-Mar
Delaware 16 a 0 26-Apr
Florida 99 a favor 0 15-Mar
Georgia 76 b 43 33 18
Guam 9 c 0
Hawaii 19 c 11 8 7
Idaho 32 b 12 20 20
Illinois 69 a favor 0 15-Mar
Indiana 57 a 0 3-May
Iowa 30 c 7 23 8
Kansas 40 c 9 31 24
Kentucky 46 c 17 29 15
Louisiana 46 c 18 17 17
Maine 23 b 0 23-Apr
Maryland 38 a favor 0 26-Apr
Massachusetts 42 c 22 20 4
Michigan 59 b 25 34 17
Minnesota 38 c 8 30 13
Mississippi 40 b 24 13 13
Missouri 52 b favor 0 15-Mar
Montana 27 a 0 7-Jun
N. Marianas 9 a 0 15-Mar
Nebraska 36 a 0 10-May
Nevada 31 c 15 16 6
New Hampshire 23 c 11 12 3
New Jersey 51 a favor 0 7-Jun
New Mexico 24 c 0 7-Jun
New York 95 b favor 0 19-Apr
North Carolina 72 c close 0 close 15-Mar
North Dakota 28 c 0 3-Apr
Ohio 66 a close 0 close 15-Mar
Oklahoma 43 c 14 29 16
Oregon 28 c 0 17-May
Pennsylvania 71 a close 0 close 26-Apr
Puerto Rico 23 b 0 23
Rhode Island 19 c favor 0 26-Apr
South Carolina 50 a 50 0
South Dakota 29 a 0 7-Jun
Tennessee 58 b 31 27 14
Texas 155 b 39 116 111
Utah 40 b close 0 close 22-Mar
Vermont 16 c 8 8
Virgin Islands 9 c 9
Virginia 49 c 17 32 8
Washington 44 b 0 24-May
West Virginia 34 c 0 10-May
Wisconsin 42 a close 0 5-Apr
Wyoming 29 c 0 16-Apr

 

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