Is Ted Cruz going to de-throne the Donald? Give us your thoughts below.
By Jeff Dunetz
Going into last night’s Wisconsin results, the buzz was that Donald Trump was closing in and while Cruz would win it would be by a smaller margin than expected. When Bernie Sanders was declared the Democratic Party winner as soon as the polls closed and the GOP race was judged still too close to call it seemed to back up the early buzz. That buzz was wrong, Texas Senator Ted Cruz won by a larger margin than even the most optimist polls, by a 13% (48-35%) margin. After declaring the win, Cruz called Wisconsin a turning point in the nominating process. Acting like a five-year-old, Donald Trump said that it wasmeaningless and besides, the other guy cheated (so much for trying to unify the party).
Note: Many sites have their own estimates of the allocated and remaining delegates, they are all relatively close, but the numbers below may differ slightly from yours. The numbers crunched below come from Politico andReal Clear Politics.
After figuring in Wisconsin, the likely scenario is that the Republican nominee will be decided by a strong ground game at an open GOP convention. That favors Ted Cruz.
The chart below details the number of delegates each of the candidates have (notice Kasich still has fewer delegates than Rubio who suspended his campaign weeks ago). The next line details how many more delegates each candidate needs to get a majority of delegates (1,237). And finally what percentage of the 882 delegates reaming to be chosen would the candidate have to win to get to the majority.
Frankly no candidate has a realistic chance of getting to the 1,237 number before the convention. Trump who needs to get 56% of the remainder has an outside chance of gaining a majority. While Rubio has suspended his campaign he hasn’t as of yet released his delegates so they are still committed to him in the first round.
Much of the mainstream media is hinting that the Trump campaign has collapsed. Between his crazy statements of the past week about women and nukes and Cruz’s YUGE win in Wisconsin, the playing field has changed–don’t count on it. Wisconsin is a different state for one thing, according to exit polls they aren’t as angry as other voters, and they are more concerned with electability than voters in earlier primaries. And nothing has happened to make the rabid Trumpsters change their mind about the billionaire.
Here’s the remaining challenge for Donald Trump. He needs to get to the majority number before the convention. In most states, delegates who are committed to him in the first round of voting can change their votes in future rounds. (Note to Trumpsters-that’s not cheating or stealing…its called the rules of the primary and part of running for president is being a good enough executive to stay within the rules, but to exploit them to your example). The bottom line Trump is if get 1,237 delegates before the convention, chances are that he will never get to that number. Ted Cruz who arguably has the best ground game organization of any candidate in either party. Cruz’s convention team has already begun to convince delegates to switch to him once they are no longer committed to vote for others.
The task for Ted Cruz is to stay close. Unless some sort of miracle on the level of the Jets in Super Bowl III occurs he will not get to the 1,237 majority. And despite what he says, Senator Cruz knows he wont achieve that number. Wisconsin proves again that it is a two-man race. One question however is how much momentum can Cruz get off of the Wisconsin win?