Donald Trump has a realistic path to claim the GOP nomination on the first ballot at the Republican convention in July following his big New York primary win Tuesday.
After claiming at least 89 Empire State delegates, according to The Associated Press, Trump’s total stands at 845. He will need to win 392 more to hit the 1,237 threshold to secure the nomination heading into the convention.
As MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki explained following Trump’s win, the first step will be a towering Trump victory in next week’s primaries in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic.
Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Maryland all vote on Tuesday, and all are states where Trump is expected to do very well. Kornacki said Trump will need to pick up at least 100 of the 118 delegates in play on that day, which looks to be easily attainable for the Manhattan billionaire.
The 17 delegates up for grabs in Pennsylvania and the 16 available in Delaware will be awarded to the statewide winner. Trump’s winning big in Pennsylvania. There’s no reason to expect a Trump slip in Delaware — although there has been little polling conducted in the state, Trump has won or is leading in every bordering state.
In Connecticut, Trump could win all 28 delegates available if he breaks a 50% statewide threshold. He is currently polling at 49%, according to the RealClearPolitics average of recent surveys. Maryland, with 38 delegates at stake, is winner-take-all on a statewide and congressional-district level. With Trump leading polls in the state by a nearly 15-point average, it’s conceivable to see him taking almost all of the state’s slate of delegates.
Rhode Island is a proportional primary, and Trump is leading there as well.
At that point next week, per Kornacki’s estimate, Trump could hit 945 delegates (based on his better-than-expected night in New York, which gives him four more than 941):
Moving on to May, Kornacki projected that Trump might not even need to do that well in Indiana. The Hoosier State is viewed as the most important upcoming primary by those in the party looking to blunt Trump’s path to the nomination.
But even if Trump does poorly in Indiana — where Trump is spending his first day campaigning after the New York win — he could make up for the loss with a strong showing elsewhere. Should he win Indiana, however, it would all but end the hopes of Ted Cruz, a Texas senator, and John Kasich, the Ohio governor, of being able to take Trump to a contested convention.
Kornacki gave Trump nine more delegates from Indiana, a conservative estimate. That would put him at 954.
Next up was West Virginia, a perceived strong state for Trump, along with Nebraska, Washington, and Oregon, all weaker states. His haul from those states would put him at 1,020, according to Kornacki’s estimates.
Then the last day of contests: New Jersey, New Mexico, and California. Hours before Trump’s New York romp, Kornacki predicted that the real-estate mogul would finish the primary season with 1,199 delegates — 38 shy of the needed total.
With the additional New York delegates won Tuesday, he’d be up to 1,203 — 34 short.
However, that number would more than likely be enough to get him over the top in the convention, according to Kornacki.
Pennsylvania, a state Trump should easily win, has 54 unbound delegates that are elected by voters and are free to vote for whomever they wish. Many have either said publicly they were pro-Trump or that they would vote for the winner of their congressional district or the state as a whole. In this projection, Trump would need about 70% of those Pennsylvania delegates to do so, and he would hit 1,237 on the first ballot of the convention.
Trump’s campaign believes the billionaire will win 1,400 delegates at the convention, according to an internal campaign memo obtained by The Washington Post.