On March 9, this Breitbart story projected Donald Trump would have 1,309 first ballot delegates to take the nomination.
After the Indiana results Tuesday, Fox News belatedly projected that Trump would get 1,285 delegates. Analyst Bill Hemmer added “that might be a little low.” Soon thereafter Senator Ted Cruz suspended his campaign.
So Fox News’ projections and Ted Cruz’s recognition of political reality finally caught up to Breitbart’s two-month old projection.
The fact is, Donald Trump has been on a path to the nomination since he broke the Republican silence on the need for campaign finance reform by stating clearly in a debate reported here, “Give [politicians] money, and they’ll do whatever the hell you want.”
Three months later viewers of another Republican debate ranked campaign finance as one of the four most important issues along with homeland security, taxes and size of government (see chart here). Campaign finance in and of itself would not rank near the other three, but Republican primary voters like others were realizing the influence of money from foreign sources, unions, corporations and special interests was at the root of frustrations they felt over candidates representing donors instead of voters.
Still, when our projection of 1,309 Trump delegates was posted March 9, it seemed wildly pro-Trump to other outlets because at the time Trump trailed “not Trump” 445 to 584 delegates. The Breitbart projection required the total to flip to a 1309-1150 win by the time the convention started in Cleveland.
But the end result was already in motion. The proportional states were giving way to winner-take-all and winner-take-most states. It was not necessary to know how each and every state would go, just that Trump would win Florida, Illinois, Maryland and New Jersey and logically would split the other winner-take-all states (as written March 9):
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.
As a veteran of 21 nominating convention, I once projected Ollie North would win the region of 36 states I had worked as a field rep with 1,703 delegates, and he received 1,702. I’ve won and lost open conventions – and I do not mind them as they function in a similar manner to a primary runoff to let a majority of voters ultimately choose the nominee.
On Tuesday, Indiana simply keep the path that was set in motion back when Trump separated himself by calling out big money domination of the political process.