Nonsequitur: Primary Update (It’s Still Not Over)

April 27, 2016


Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, as expected, did very well yesterday.  Trump swept all five primaries, losing only 3 delegates to Cruz and 5 to Kasich.  Clinton won four out of five states, taking the majority of delegates in all but the Rhode Island primary.

However, both races are far from over.  While neither Cruz nor Sanders can mathematically win the minimum number of delegates required for party nomination on the first delegate ballot, neither Clinton nor Trump can claim victory at this point.  In both campaigns, the challengers may be able to force a contested party convention.


For Democrats, Clinton will not be able to win the minimum delegate count until at least May 17th.  This would include four closed primaries (West Virginia, Oregon, Kentucky and Guam) and one open primary (Indiana).  Sanders typically does well in open primaries, so he may be able to extend his challenge into June.

On the Republican side, Trump cannot win the minimum delegate count until ALL primaries are completed. This means primary elections in Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, South Dakota and, finally, California.

It is technically possible, although improbable, that Sanders can still prevent Clinton from reaching the minimum number of delegates. However, it is somewhat likely that Cruz can prevent Trump from reaching the minimum number of delegates, especially since the primaries now move to the mid-west (where Cruz is strong) and the west (where there is no clear advantage for either candidate).

Here are the total delegate counts as of 4/27/16:

Republican (1237 to win):

Trump – 954; Cruz – 562;  Kasich – 153; Other* – 186

*Rubio (171); Carson (8); Bush (4); Fiorina (1); Huckabee (1);  Paul (1)

Democrat (2382 to win):

Clinton – 2151 (1632 by vote, 712 superdelegates); Sanders – 1338 (1299 by vote, 39 superdelegates)


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