The presidential election calendar has shifted east, and picks back up with today's New York primary. This will be followed by primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island next Tuesday. This is friendlier territory for the two frontrunners, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
New York: The polls are open 6AM to 9PM Eastern Time in New York City and surrounding counties: Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, and Orange. Those hours are also in effect in Erie County (Buffalo area). For the rest of the state, polls are open noon to 9PM.
Republican Primary: Barring a polling error of historic proportions, Donald Trump will cruise to an easy win here today. In the final 270toWin Republican polling average, Trump has 53%, 30 points ahead of John Kasich and 35 points ahead of Ted Cruz.
New York has 95 delegates, 14 of which are awarded based on the statewide vote, with 81 (3 per) coming from the state's 27 congressional districts. Trump's win will most likely net him between 75 and 85 of these. The exact number will depend on if/where Trump wins the majority of the vote and where the other candidates are held below 20%. We reprint our flowcharts below; click/tap them for a full explanation of the allocation process.
After today, Trump will likely need fewer than 50% of the remaining unawarded delegates to secure the nomination, while Cruz will need over 90%. Visit our Republican Nomination page for more details, including delegate counts and maps, as well as links to detail on each Republican primary/cacucus and an interactive delegate calculator.
A large-sample poll out Thursday from Optimus showed Donald Trump winning each of New York's 27 congressional districts in this Tuesday's primary, but falling just short of 50% statewide. If this poll proves accurate, what does it tell us about how the state's 95 delegates will be allocated?
For a quick recap of how New York allocates delegates, see the bottom of this article. It is an abbreviated version of our earlier discussion on the topic.
Statewide Poll Results: Trump received just under 49% in this poll, Kasich about 24% and Cruz about 14%. Since Trump had less than a majority in this poll, he would split the 14 statewide delegates proportionately with Kasich, the only other candidate at or above 20%. This would yield 9 delegates for Trump, 5 for Kasich.
District Results: Trump leads in all 27 districts, finishing above 50% in 11 of them. He would earn 3 delegates in those 11 districts and 2 in the other 16, for a total of 65 delegates. For those 16 districts where Trump had less than a majority, Kasich finished 2nd in 14 of them, Cruz 2nd in the other two. Those 2nd place candidates earn one delegate each.
Summing it all up, if these were the exact outcomes, Trump would receive an estimated 74 of the state's delegates, Kasich 19 and Cruz 2. One big caveat is that this is the only Republican New York poll, aside from another Optimus poll, that holds Trump under 50% statewide since early March. Therefore, barring a late shift, this poll might reflect something closer to a worst-case scenario for the Republican frontrunner.
If Trump were to exceed 50% statewide, he'd get the other 5 state delegates and, depending on how far above 50% he actually was, he'd likely move over 50% in additional districts. The poll indicates he's within 3 points of 50% in 6 additional districts. If the actual vote breaks that way, Trump would be at roughly 85 delegates.
New York Allocation Methodology
Statewide Vote: 14 delegates will be allocated based on the primary results across the state. A candidate getting a majority of the vote gets them all. Otherwise, the 14 are allocated proportionately across any candidates reaching 20%.
Congressional District Vote: For each district, a victory with >50% of the vote, or if only one candidate receives 20%, nets 3 delegates. Otherwise, the candidate with the most votes gets two delegates, the candidate in 2nd place receives one.
After the presidential election, the battle for control of the Senate will likely be the largest political story of this election season. Republicans are currently in the majority with 54 seats, Democrats control 46. Depending on who wins the White House, Democrats will need to gain either 4 or 5 seats to take the gavel from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
We've summarized the current state of the race in the table below. Use our 2016 interactive Senate map to review the current Senate, make an election forecast, and then see the 2017 Senate based on your prediction.
The left part of the table shows the 17 potentially competitive races in 2016; Iowa has been added to the list since our last look in February. these are the seats that will determine control of the Senate. For a race to be in this list, at least one of three professional pundits needed to see the race as at least somewhat competitive. The other 17 seats were seen as safe for the incumbent party by all three; these are listed to the bottom right. The most competitive races are highlighted in green. These are races where at least one pro sees the race as leaning or toss-up.
In the top right, we've summarized what it all means. More than 70% (24 of 34) of the seats to be contested this year are currently held by Republicans, with the composition of safe seats much closer to 50-50. This puts the Democratic floor at 43 seats, Republicans at 40 or, put another way, 3 Democratic seats are at risk, while 14 Republican ones are in play.
Six of the races are seen as likely (or even safe) by the pros. These are less likely to end up as competitive. If we adjust for that, we end up with a 'Likely' floor of 45 for Republicans, 44 for Democrats, with the remaining 11 seats likely to decide control of the Senate.
The Washington Post is reporting that the Nebraska legislature is considering a bill that would revert the state to winner take all for its 5 electoral votes. If it passes, it would be enacted for the 2016 presidential election.
Nebraska and Maine are the only two states to deviate from winner take all, where the popular vote winner of the state (almost always) receives all the state's electoral votes. In the case of these two states, two electoral votes are awarded to the popular vote winner, with one going to the winner of each individual congressional district. There are three districts in Nebraska and two in Maine.
Nebraska adopted this method in advance of the 1992 presidential election; Maine enacted in time for the 1972 election. Only once has this method made any difference. In the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama won the popular vote in Nebraska's 2nd congressional district, winning one of the state's five electoral votes. It was the first Nebraska electoral vote to be awarded to a Democrat since the landslide 1964 presidential election.
A week out from the New York Republican primary, Donald Trump has a commanding lead in the statewide polls. The 270toWin New York Average has him a few points above 50%, with John Kasich and Ted Cruz nearly tied at about 20% each.
As it turns out, those two numbers -- 20% and 50% -- are quite important when looking at how the state allocates its 95 delegates to the Republican Convention. Whether looking at the statewide vote, or any of the states's 27 congressional districts, 20% is the minimum threshold needed to receive any delegates, while exceeding 50% gets a candidate all of them.
Statewide Vote: 14 delegates will be allocated based on the primary results across the state. If a candidate receives greater than 50%, as Trump seems positioned to do, he receives all 14. That is also going to be the case if Trump doesn't reach 50% but is the only candidate to receive 20%. As a practical matter, with only three candidates set to receive almost all the vote, this 2nd set of circumstances is unlikely to occur. If neither Kasich or Cruz reach 20%, Trump should easily meet the 50% threshold. Therefore, if Trump doesn't exceed 50%, the 14 delegates will be proportionately split between any of the candidates that reach the 20% minimum.
Congressional District Vote: Each congressional district will allocate three delegates. As with the statewide vote, a victory with >50% of the vote or where only one candidate reaches 20% makes it winner take all for those three delegates. Otherwise, the candidate with the most votes gets two delegates, the candidate in 2nd place receives one. We've not seen polling that divides up the electorate by region or district, but one would suspect that if Trump ends up in the 55% range statewide, he would exceed 50% in some, but not all of the state's 27 congressional districts. In that scenario, he'd likely end up winning somewhere around 80 of the state's 95 total delegates.
Make your own projection for New York and all the remaining Republican primaries using our interactive delegate calculator.
Saturday saw delegates allocated at Colorado's Republican Convention and in the Wyoming Democratic Caucus.
Colorado: Senator Ted Cruz completed a sweep of 34 delegates in Colorado by adding the state's 13 at-large delegates at this weekend's party convention. This is in addition to the 21 delegates Cruz won at congressional district events earlier in the week. Three RNC delegates remain unpledged although, given this result, one would have to think Cruz would be favored to eventually pick them up.
Cruz has now closed to within 200 delegates of Donald Trump, and the latter needs about 58% of remaining delegates to secure the nomination before Cleveland. Looking ahead, Trump is likely to do quite well in New York on April 19 and several other Atlantic states on the 26th. Those states will bind about 210 delegates. Ultimately, it may all come down to California on June 7. Try our interactive delegate calculator to see if you can see Trump or Cruz reaching the magic 1,237 number.
Wyoming: Sanders won the state with about 56% of the vote, continuing his impressive streak of wins in recent weeks. However, this result was closer than most of those other Sanders victories and, given proportional allocation rules of the Democratic Party, the day ended in a 7-7 delegate tie. Clinton needs about 32.5% of remaining delegates to secure the nomination. As with Trump, the next couple weeks should be favorable for Clinton as the race moves back to the East Coast. Clinton leads by an average of 13 in the critical New York primary.
Bernie Sanders has won the Wyoming Caucuses, media outlets are reporting. With 96% reporting, Sanders has 56% to Clinton's 44%. That translates into 7 delegates for Sanders, 6 for Clinton. One final delegate remains to be allocated.
While the win represents Sander's 7th of the last 8 Democratic contests, the result will likely be a bit disappointing for Sanders, as many of those recent wins, also in Western caucus states, saw votes for him in excess of 70%.
Clinton now leads in event delegates by 218, that lead is over 600 with committed superdelegates. She needs 32.5% of the remaining delegates to win the nomination.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz picked up 21 Colorado delegates in recent days, three from each of the state's seven congressional districts. 17 of the 21 are bound to Cruz; the other four are technically unpledged but support his campaign.
The state will send 37 delegates to the Republican Convention. In addition to the 21 to Cruz, an additional 13 at-large delegates will be selected this weekend at the state GOP convention. Three additional delegates (RNC representatives) will be unbound, although they can pledge support to whomever they want. The Denver Post has a good graphical presentation:
Updated Delegate Counts: With these 21 Colorado delegates, Cruz now trails Donald Trump by 211 in the race to 1,237. Trump needs about 57% of the delegates yet to be allocated to win the nomination outright.
For those interested in projecting whether Trump or Cruz can reach 1,237, try our new interactive delegate calculator.
A quiet period for Democrats in the 2016 election calendar will see a bit of action over the next week. Wyoming will hold its Democratic caucus today (April 9), followed by a debate Thursday in advance of the pivotal New York primary on April 19.
Wyoming Caucus: An estimated 14 of the state's 18 delegates will be up for grabs at the state's caucuses. Although there's no polling to go on, Bernie Sanders has done particularly well in Western caucus states with small minority populations. He's likely to get the majority of the delegates allocated today.
Democratic Debate: After much wrangling between the two camps, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will meet in a debate this Thursday, April 14. The debate will occur at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and will be hosted by CNN and New York City cable news channel NY1. Wolf Blitzer will moderate. The debate will air from 9PM to 11PM Eastern Time. Interestingly, tickets for the debate are not available to the general public; they are instead being allocated directly to the campaigns.
New York Primary: The only event on the April 19 calendar, this is shaping up as the most critical event thus far on the Democratic side. Bernie Sanders has cut into Hillary Clinton's delegate lead in recent weeks, winning seven of the last eight (if we include Wyoming) contests. He has also caught Clinton in some recent national polls. That said, Clinton remains well ahead in the New York polls and a significant win there would likely cancel out the Sanders momentum. The state has the 2nd largest number of convention delegates and the results there will likely foreshadow outcomes in several other New England and Mid-Atlantic states the following Tuesday. On the other hand, an upset win by Sanders in the media capital of the country would throw the race wide open. Keep in mind that Sanders won Michigan despite trailing Clinton by about 20 points in the polls; Clinton's lead is 13 in the Empire State.
It was a good night in Wisconsin for two United States Senators, both of whom saw double-digit wins in the state's primary.
For the Republicans, with 99% of the vote counted as of early this AM, Texas' Ted Cruz had 48% to Donald Trump's 35%. John Kasich was third with 14%. Looking at the delegate counts, Cruz has won 33 of Wisconsin's 42, Trump 3. The remaining six are left to be allocated based on final results in two congressional districts.
On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders was just under 57% to Hillary Clinton's 43%. Based on the party's proportional allocation method, Sanders has been awarded 45 delegates, Clinton 31.
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