California-based conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt has concluded that Donald Trump will not win the Republican nomination “unless a political asteroid” hits the California primary.
Hewitt offered his conclusion Thursday to Steve Kornacki of MSNBC. He argued that Trump would need 119 of California’s 172 possible delegates in order to collect the 392 he still needs to achieve the 1,237 delegates for a majority on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention in July.
Hewitt, who said he is “not ‘Never Trump’,” explained his logic:
California’s got 171 [sic] available. It’s very hard for me seeing Donald Trump getting more than 100 of the California delegates. So even under the rosiest of scenarios, when you really sit down and do the math under the rules — Rhode island is proportional, others are winner-take-all, some are by congressional district — he can’t get to 1,237 unless a political asteroid hits California. So I don’t see it happening, Steve.
Breitbart News currently projects Trump to win 106 delegates in California, with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) winning 66, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich winning none. It is possible for Trump to win more delegates if he performs exceptionally well in the Los Angeles and Inland Empire regions, which are closely contested between Trump and Cruz.
Hewitt is somewhat less bearish on Trump’s chances than the Associated Press, which recently concluded that Trump will need 130 California delegates.
Breitbart News has concluded that winning 130 delegates would require Trump to win at least one or two congressional districts in the Central Valley, where Cruz is currently at his strongest. However, Trump has enjoyed a surge in recent polls, nearing 50 percent in two recent polls and holding an average 15-point lead over Cruz.
Conventional wisdom has often been wrong in the 2016 race, with early predictions of Trump’s demise failing in each subsequent poll and through the primaries.