After the five presidential primaries this past Tuesday, the race to secure nominations for the Republican and Democratic parties is not yet decided, but the trend of the last primaries seems to indicate the trend of the rest of the election. With only 10 primaries left for both parties along with four Democratic caucuses, we cannot absolutely predict who we will see on the ballots in November. Even so, only 502 Republican and 1,016 Democratic delegates remain.
Right now, Donald Trump still holds a steady lead, with 994 delegates. Following him is Ted Cruz with 566 delegates, and John Kasich remains in third place with 153 delegates. Given the number of delegates remaining and that this year the Republican “super delegates” must vote according to their state results, the only candidate who can win through securing primary votes is Trump, as the Republican nominee requires 1,237 delegates. For the majority of the Republican party itself, as opposed to most participating Republican voters, it is of the utmost importance to keep Trump from securing the nomination and force the nomination to go forward to a contested convention. This plan, since this last primary Tuesday, is losing steam, as Trump swept all five of the primary states, winning all of the delegates in the three winner-take-all and one winner-take-most states. Even so, as was also broadcast in the news that Cruz and Kasich are uniting against Trump. Should they secure enough delegates to do so, they hope to block him from winning the last approximately 250 delegates he needs before the GOP convention.
According to the polls, this looks impossible. Trump leads in the three states with the most delegates left in California, which has 172 Republican delegates, by 17.4 points; in New Jersey, which has 51 delegates, by 28 points; and in Indiana, which has 57 delegates, by 6.3 points. He also leads in West Virginia by 20 points and in Oregon by 17 points. Cruz leads in New Mexico by one point. In some other states polls were not available, like North Dakota, and in others, including in a poll of Montana from last year, Trump does not even appear. Based on this data, it’s clear that Cruz and Kasich will have a very difficult time blocking Trump from the nomination.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton holds the lead in the Democratic primary with 1,663 pledged delegates, while Bernie Sanders has 1,367 delegates. This seems like a relatively small gap considering the number of delegates left, but the vast majority — 520 out of 559 — of the superdelegates are supporting Clinton. The closer we get to the convention and depending on how the remaining states allocate their delegates, it is possible that some of these superdelegates will shift their allegiances. Even so, with Clinton’s high-profile place in the party and not many delegates left, it is unlikely. To beat her, Bernie would have to secure 73% of the remaining delegates.
However, in the states that remain, Clinton is leading in polls of the three with the most delegates, those which would be critical for Sanders to win. She leads by an average of about six points in California, a state with 546 delegates, by about nine points in New Jersey, a state with 142 delegates, and by about four points in Indiana, which has 92 delegates. Even in most of the states with far fewer delegates, Clinton has a lead, like in Kentucky, where she leads by 5 points. At this point, it seems like an impossibility for Sanders to surpass her.
While there is time for changes in voter opinion and in the polls, as the last primary is on June 14th. In an analysis of the numbers and in the trend of the last primaries, however, it seems that the names on the ballot in six months may already be set.