John Kasich is almost certain to get mathematically eliminated from winning the Republican nomination tomorrow, even if he wins his home state of Ohio, which he is no lock to do. We covered the math on that this morning; unless Kasich wins 61 delegates in addition to winning Ohio, his run ends tomorrow. Based on the most recent polling, there is no way he accomplishes that.
Of course, Kasich is not the only one who is in danger of being mathematically eliminated from contention tomorrow. Rubio has fallen in a big enough hole that if things don’t go his way tomorrow, he might get the red x next to his name in the standings, too. Of course, Rubio is in a better position because he starts the day with about 100 more delegates than Kasich currently has. But still, if Rubio doesn’t get at least 36 delegates pledged tomorrow, he is done for.
Here’s how the math works. Rubio currently has 163 delegates. After Tuesday’s contests there will be a total of 1,038 delegates up for grabs. So even if Rubio completely runs the table after Tuesday, he will only come up with 1,201, which is short of the 1,237 mark he needs. In other words, if Rubio doesn’t walk away from tomorrow with at least 36 additional delegates in his pocket, he’s also out.
Now, the Rubio people are obviously bullish about their chances in Florida, which has 99 delegates. I’m less bullish, but even if Rubio loses, he has a decent chance of cobbling together 36 delegates out of the 193 available in NC, IL, MO. The math gets kind of fuzzy, but Rubio basically needs to hope he pulls at least 20% in all three states to give himself a reasonable shot. It’s by no means certain that Rubio can do that, but it’s definitely more probable than Kasich winning Ohio and getting 32% of all the delegates from the other states.
After the dust settles tomorrow, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump might be the only two candidates with a mathematical shot at 1,237.