Election News

Pennsylvania's Odd Delegate Equation

April 5, 2016

Pennsylvania will send 71 delegates to the Republican Convention this July, making it the seventh most delegate-rich state in the party's nominating process. The state stands alone, however, in the number of those delegates that will arrive in Cleveland unbound to any particular presidential candidate. While limiting the voice of the party faithful in the April 26 primary, the closeness of the race puts the state's delegates in a strong position to determine the ultimate Republican nominee. 

Almost all 2,472 delegates to the Republican Convention will be pledged to a specific candidate, at least on the first ballot. However, 54 of the Keystone State's 71 delegates will be unbound. (The remaining 17 will be pledged to the winner of the statewide vote). These 54 will be elected directly by voters, three in each of 18 congressional districts. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, there are 162 candidates for these 54 slots. Their names will appear on "ballots identifying the delegate candidates by name, but not the presidential contender they support." 

While officially unbound, there is nothing to prevent candidates from indicating who they would support. To that end, the newspaper reached out to all 162 candidates to ask them. They received 110 responses, which are summarized in the graphic below. Click it for specific details.

 

The results indicate Democracy may still be at work, even with this convoluted process, as 61 of the 110 respondents said they would vote for the candidate that wins their district or the state. While that leaves some wiggle room, many Republican delegates nationwide are bound based on similar results. Of course, there may also be some positioning here as these people try to get elected. For example, if one was running in a District with demographics favorable to Trump, he or she might be better served to get out in front with a specific answer, instead of a more generic one.



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Wisconsin Primary Tomorrow: Polling and Delegate Update

April 4, 2016

Tuesday's Wisconsin primary will break a lull in the election calendar. Polls are open from 7AM to 8PM Central Time.

Republican: The state's 42 delegates will be allocated on a split winner take all basis. 18 delegates will go to the overall popular vote winner in the state, while the remaining 24 will be allocated, in groups of three, to the winner of each of Wisconsin's eight congressional districts.

Polling over the past couple weeks has trended in the direction of Ted Cruz. The Texas Senator has led 8 of the ten polls since March 20 and now averages a 3.1% lead over Donald Trump. The average is closer than most recent polls would indicate, as a survey out today showed Trump with a ten point lead. While there is certainly some possibility Trump wins the state, that poll seems like an outlier.

 

Heading into Wisconsin, Donald Trump leads the Republican field with 736 delegates. He needs about 53% of the remaining delegates available to win the Republican nomination.

Democrat: 86 of the state's 96 delegates will be up for grabs tomorrow; the remainder are superdelegates. As with other Democratic contests, delegates are awarded proportionately, some based on the statewide popular vote, the remainder based on the results in each individual district. 

Bernie Sanders is on a bit of a run, having won five of the last six Democratic contests. However, those were all caucuses in states with favorable demographics for him. Sanders hasn't won a primary since March 8, when he won neighboring Michigan. Looking at the polls, this primary could go either way. Sanders is averaging about 2.5% ahead of Clinton; each candidate has led in multiple polls over the past week.

 

Hillary Clinton has a lead of 260 delegates over Sanders in primary/caucus events, that lead grows to 700 when superdelegates are factored in. Factoring in superdelegates, Clinton needs about 33% of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination.


Updated 'Crystal Ball' Electoral Map Looks Promising for Clinton in a Match-up WIth Trump

April 1, 2016

The electoral map for a Clinton vs. Trump match-up in November points to a relatively easy victory for the likely Democratic nominee, according to an updated forecast by the team at Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball. This is their first attempt at projecting the 2016 election based on a match-up of current frontrunners. 

The prior generic forecast looked a lot like the electoral map we've grown accustomed to in the last several presidential elections, favoring a Democrat by 247-206, with 85 electoral votes in toss-up states. The Clinton-Trump map eliminates all toss-ups, moving them to the Clinton column as 'Leans Democratic'. The ratings of seven other states, plus NE-2, were shifted in Clinton's direction.

The article also discusses a possible Clinton-Cruz match-up. While this would likely be somewhat closer, Clinton would seem to be favored here as well. In either case, the polarized nature of the country makes a Democratic landslide, like in the 1964 Johnson-Goldwater election, unlikely.

An interactive version of the forecast map follows. Use it to create and share your own 2016 presidential election forecast. 


Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

Rubio Granted Request For Return of Five Alaska Delegates

March 30, 2016

Marco Rubio's five Alaska delegates were returned to him this week, the result of a request granted by the State Republican Party. Donald Trump lost three of those, Ted Cruz two. 

Per Alaska rules, delegates earned by those who withdraw from the race are redistributed based on the state's proportional allocation method. In his letter to the Party, Rubio argued that he had suspended his campaign, but had not withdrawn from the race.

While small in number, any loss of delegates by frontrunner Donald Trump increases the likelihood that he will not receive the necessary 1,237 before the July Convention in Cleveland. Trump needs about 53% of the remaining delegates to win the nomination.

This is another reason why campaigns are usually suspended and not formally ended.


Cruz, Sanders Lead in Wisconsin, Marquette Law Poll Finds

March 30, 2016

Ted Cruz has opened up a 10 point lead on Donald Trump in Wisconsin, per the latest survey from the respected polling unit at Marquette University Law School. This result is directionally consistent with recent polls showing a shift in the race, but it is the first survey to find the Texas Senator with the outright lead, beyond the margin of error.

 

Interestingly, Trump's support is unchanged, at 30%, since the last Marquette survey in late February. Both Cruz and John Kasich saw significant gains, picking up voters that previously supported a now-withdrawn candidate or who have made up their mind in the final few weeks before the April 5 primary.

On the Republican side, Wisconsin has 42 delegates, 18 are winner take all for the statewide winner, while the other 24 are winner take all based on the vote within each of the state's 8 congressional districts (3 per district).

For the Democrats, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton by 4 points. The last Marquette survey showed Sanders leading by one point.


'Gold Standard' Marquette Wisconsin Poll to Be Released Today

March 30, 2016

This afternoon, Marquette University Law School will release its final poll before next Tuesday's Wisconsin Republican primary. In the school's last survey, in late February, Donald Trump held a 30%-19% lead over Ted Cruz, with John Kasich below 10%. 

A few polls out in the interim have shown a tightening race, with Trump and Cruz now tied in the 270toWin polling average, while John Kasich has been gaining significant ground.

The Marquette poll is seen by many as the 'gold standard' in Wisconsin, so it will be interesting to see where it ends up.

Wisconsin has 42 delegates, 18 are winner take all for the statewide winner, while the other 24 are winner take all based on the vote within each of the state's 8 congressional districts (3 per district).

There has been less polling for the Democratic primary. The last Marquette survey showed the race a dead heat. 

The poll often includes general election match-ups as well.


Sanders Sweeps Three Saturday Caucuses, Narrowing Clinton's Delegate Lead

March 27, 2016

Bernie Sanders cruised to easy wins in all three Democratic caucus states Saturday, surpassing 1,000 total delegates in the process. The Vermont Senator received about 70% of the vote in Washington state and Hawaii, while scoring north of 80% in vote equivalents in Alaska. Sanders won 30 of the 41 total Alaska/Hawaii delegates and, at this point, has won 25 of 34 allocated delegates in Washington.

Here's where things stand as of this morning. Sanders has narrowed Clinton's lead by 35 delegates:

Another 67 delegates remain to be allocated in Washington. An estimate by The Greenpapers (as of Sunday AM) gives Sanders a 74-27 total for the state, meaning he would win about 49 of the remaining 67 delegates there.

Despite the good night for Sanders, Clinton now needs less than 1/3 of the remaining delegates to reach 2,383 and secure the Democratic nomination. For Sanders to have a real shot, he'll need to build on Saturday's performance in Wisconsin on April 5 and then, more importantly, in the Northeast later in April. Wisconsin is certainly doable; but Sanders trails badly in delegate-rich New York (April 19) and in many of the April 26 statesThe Sanders campaign is planning a strong push in New York.


Washington State, Hawaii, Alaska Democratic Caucuses Today

March 26, 2016

Democratic caucuses are being held today in Washington state, Alaska and Hawaii. No polling to go on, but Sanders has generally done well in caucus states, particularly those with smaller minority populations. 

Heading into today, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders 1,223 to 920 in delegates won at events; the totals are 1,691 to 949 when superdelegates that have committed to one candidate or the other are included. 2,383 delegates are needed to win the Democratic nomination.

As a reminder, all Democratic contests allocate delegates on a proportional basis, with some of those delegates allocated on an at-large basis, the remainder based on results in each individual congressional district. There is a 15% minimum to qualify for any delegates. 

Washington: By far the largest prize on Saturday, with 101 delegates up for grabs. The Seattle Times reports that caucuses run from 10AM to about noon, Pacific Time (1-3PM ET). That may mean we'll have some results during the afternoon.

Hawaii: The state, one of the most liberal in the nation, will award 25 delegates today. This WSJ article points out that the state's large Asian popoulation could provide some early insight into how California will vote in June. (Not sure about that given that California is a primary and 2 1/2 months away, but an interesting premise). The caucus (actually they are calling it a 'Presidential Preference Poll') begins at 1PM local time (7PM ET).

Alaska: The smallest of the day's events, the state will award 16 delegates. Alaska only has one congressional district. Caucuses begin at 10AM local time (2PM ET).

After today, the next event on the Democratic calendar is the April 5 Wisconsin primary.


Six National Polls This Week Show Sanders, Kasich Perform Best in November Match-Ups

March 24, 2016

Many notable pollsters have picked this week to release national polls looking at prospective match-ups for the November election. The main takeaway appears to be: The less likely a candidate is to get his or her party's nomination, the better they perform in the general election.

 

 

On the Republican side, John Kasich swept all 6 polls when pitted against Hillary Clinton, winning by an average of 6.5 points. On the other end of the spectrum, both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton average a double-digit lead over Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. The closest match-up for Democratic frontrunner Clinton appears to be with Ted Cruz. 

While these numbers are interesting, they ultimately don't tell us much. Trailing for their party's nominations, Kasich and Sanders have been subject to fewer attacks and are still not as well-known across party lines as Clinton and Trump, who both consistently have high unfavorable ratings in polls. In addition, the only polls that ultimately matter are those at the state level


New Poll Points to Competitive Wisconsin Primary

March 23, 2016

As attention begins to turn toward April contests, a new poll shows a competitive primary for both parties shaping up in Wisconsin. The study, from Emerson College gives Ted Cruz a 36-35 lead over Donald Trump on the Republican side, while Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders 50-44 for the Democrats.

These are the first polls in the state since the last release by the respected Marquette University Law School in late February. At that time, Marquette found Trump with a 10 point lead over Marco Rubio, who has since left the race and 11 points over Ted Cruz. The Democratic race was essentially tied. We would expect a new Marquette survey next week, in advance of the April 5 Wisconsin primaries.

Emerson also took a look at a few match-ups for November, finding that either Democrat would beat Donald Trump by 9 points. Clinton and Cruz were separated by just one point.



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