If the California primary, scheduled for June 7, were held today, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump would likely win 106 delegates — 93 from congressional districts, plus 13 for winning statewide — while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) would win 66.
Ohio governor John Kasich could win 6 delegates, all from districts currently allocated to Trump, in which case the projection would be Trump 100, Cruz 66, Kasich 6.
The new projections are slightly more favorable for Trump than Breitbart News’ previous projection (94 – 72 – 6), and is based on available public polling data, demographic data and qualitative analysis.
That win would likely bring Trump close to the 1,237 delegates for a majority on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July, but not quite over the threshold, leading to a contested convention.
Analysis by the Associated Press estimates that Trump would need to win even more decisively in California — capturing 130 delegates — to secure the nomination. That would require winning an additional eight congressional districts relative to what Breitbart News has currently projected.
It is not impossible for Trump to do so, but he will be facing stiff competition from a well-organized, data-driven Cruz campaign.
On the Democratic side, Breitbart News projects that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would win 189 delegates to 128 for rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) — before “superdelegates” are taken into account. With that majority, Clinton would likely clinch the Democratic Party’s nomination.
It should be noted that Clinton’s lead in California narrowed considerably, particularly among Latino voters, during the period when Breitbart News’ analysis was undertaken. Therefore it is possible her margin of victory would be somewhat lower than projected. Likewise, Trump’s lead may be less than projected, given that Cruz enjoys a structural advantage in California, where the primary is “closed” — i.e. limited to registered Republicans.
Because the contested delegates in the Democratic primary in California are allocated on a proportional basis within each congressional district, and some districts have more delegates than others, it makes more sense for Clinton and Sanders to concentrate on districts where they are already strongest.
In contrast, because Republican delegates are awarded on a winner-takes-all basis, with three delegates in each district, candidates must venture beyond their “safe” seats to win.
The breakdown of seats in the Republican primary is currently as follows:
- Safe Trump (11 districts, 33 delegates): 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 43, 50, 51, 52, 53
- Safe Cruz (6 districts, 18 delegates): 4, 9, 10, 16, 21, 23
- Leans Trump (15 districts, 45 delegates): 2, 8, 11, 26, 28, 29, 32, 34, 35, 37, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46
- Leans Cruz (11 districts, 33 delegates): 3, 7 22, 25, 30, 36, 39, 41, 45, 48, 49
- Possible Kasich (2 districts, 6 delegates): 6, 12
- Toss-up (8 districts, 24 delegates): 1, 5, 15, 24, 27, 31, 33, 47
The current Breitbart News projection is based on a particular characterization of the race. But it is possible to project different outcomes by varying those assumptions.
It is possible, for example, for Cruz to win the state if he wins all of the “Safe Cruz” seats (18 delegates) and “Leans Cruz” seats (33 delegates); wins all or most of the “Toss-up” seats (24 delegates); and either prevails in the statewide vote (13 delegates) or wins about half of the current “Leans Trump” seats.
Cruz’s task in the state is made easier by the fact that there are so many places where he can compete with Trump. His best targets are in the Los Angeles and Inland Empire regions, where he has been polling well.
To win a large enough majority to secure the nomination outright, Trump will have to win all of the “Safe Trump,” “Leans Trump,” and “Toss-up” seats, and win several of the “Leans Cruz” seats, while denying Kasich victories in the Bay Area.
Kasich could win two, and perhaps as many as four, districts. He would need to focus on the more liberal Bay Area, as well as in beachfront districts in L.A. and Orange County, where he might hope to slip past the frontrunners by presenting himself as an alternative. Winning at least one or two districts would strengthen his case at a contested convention. In the few districts where Kasich is strongest, he is competing directly with Trump, but he is probably a spoiler against Cruz more widely.
Initial district-by-district analysis follows (click for more):