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Delegate Math Proves That Trump Can Still Be Stopped

Our Principles PAC, a super PAC headed by former Mitt Romney aide Katie Packer and aimed at stopping Donald Trump, released a memo on Wednesday asserting that Trump is simply not running away with the nomination, especially after losing primaries to Ted Cruz earlier this week in Kansas and Maine.  On the contrary, the PAC claims it is still unlikely he will receive the 1,237 delegates necessary to seize the Republican nomination.

Packer notes that Trump has received less than 50 percent of the available delegates thus far, because the delegates have been awarded proportionally.

March 15th marks the start of even more crucial “winner-take-all” contests, like Florida and Ohio.  But Our Principles PAC argues that even if Trump wins one or both of those states, he can still be stopped.

The memo specifically states:

“If Trump loses any combination of the states that vote on Tuesday, March 15, his path becomes improbable — and should he lose Florida, Ohio and Illinois, it will be nearly impossible for Trump to emerge as the Republican nominee for President.”

Trump only leads Cruz by 99 delegates- 458 to 359, and the memo notes that there have only been 3 closed primaries thus far (two of which Trump lost- Oklahoma and Idaho), which only allow registered Republicans to vote in the race.  There are 12 more closed primaries taking place after March 15th, which represent 636 delegates and 44% of the delegates yet to be chosen.

In conclusion, the memo asserts:

“Given the current dynamics of the race, it will be difficult for Donald Trump to win the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination.”

The full memo is below:

TO: INTERESTED PARTIES
FROM: OUR PRINCIPLES PAC
SUBJECT: THE REALITY OF DELEGATE MATH
DATE: MARCH 9, 2016

Following the results of last night’s elections it remains unlikely that Donald Trump can win the necessary 1,237 delegates to secure the nomination outright. His severe under performance this weekend complicated an already difficult task. If Trump loses any combination of the states that vote on Tuesday, March 15, his path becomes improbable – and should he lose Florida, Ohio and Illinois, it will be nearly impossible for Trump to emerge as the Republican nominee for President.

THE SIMPLE MATH

Starting with the simplest possible look, the most straightforward way to attain 1,237 delegates is to win at least 50% of the delegates at stake each election day. As of today, no candidate is near that 50% threshold.

As of today, 1056 delegates have been contested and Trump has won approximately 466 of them or 44%, well below the required 50% plus 1. That means that in order to secure the required number of delegates, Trump will now have to carry 54% of the remaining 1,416 delegates still at stake. That means he would have to outperform his current level of performance by 23%.

Once all the delegates from last night have been awarded, Trump will likely only win 48% of the delegates, again coming up short of the necessary 54% to reach 1,237.

It is important to note that nearly 60% of the delegates have yet to be contested. Even beyond next Tuesday, a number of huge voter rich states like Washington, Oregon, Colorado, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and California will hold their elections. From these and the other remaining states, there are hundreds of viable and plausible outcomes that would not only prevent Trump from reaching 1,237, but would allow an alternative candidate to amass an absolute delegate lead over Trump in the 250–350 delegate range. There are also dozens of scenarios that would result in alternative candidates not just passing Trump, but also amassing the necessary 1,237 themselves to become the nominee.

THE FULL MATH

To take a fuller look at the very difficult task facing Donald Trump, let’s quickly walk through all the things that can go right for him, but still leave him short.

Assuming he loses FL and OH…

Trump can win ALL the delegates in Illinois, the Virgin Islands, Arizona, Delaware, Oregon and New Jersey…

AND win the large majority of delegates in Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana and California…

AND win DC, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Maryland, West Virginia, Washington and New Mexico and STILL FALL SHORT of the 1,237 threshold.

Even if Trump were to win Florida…

Trump can win ALL the delegates in the Virgin Islands, Arizona, Delaware, Oregon and New Jersey…

AND win the large majority of delegates in Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana and California…

AND win DC, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Maryland, West Virginia, Washington and New Mexico and STILL FALL SHORT of the 1,237 threshold.

Even if Trump were to win Florida and Ohio…

Trump can win ALL the delegates in the Virgin Islands, Delaware, Oregon and New Jersey…

AND win the large majority of delegates in Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana and California…

AND win DC, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Maryland, West Virginia, Washington and New Mexico and STILL FALL SHORT of the 1,237 threshold.

CLOSED PRIMARIES

Further complicating Trump’s chances is the fact that there are a number of closed primaries coming up, where only Republicans are allowed to vote – such as Florida’s primary. To date there have only been three such contests: Oklahoma and Idaho (both of which Trump lost); and Louisiana (which he carried by a narrow 41%-38% margin). After March 15, there will be twelve more “closed” primaries – AZ, NY, CT, DE, MD, PA, NE, OR, WA, CA, NM, SD – representing 636 delegates or 44% of the delegates yet to be chosen.

CONCLUSION

All of these factors combine to make his path to nomination increasingly difficult and less and less likely each day that a majority of GOP primary voters show up to vote for someone other than Donald Trump.

Given the current dynamics of the race, it will be difficult for Donald Trump to win the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination.

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