Thursday, April 21, 2016

200 days out - US election

With 200 days to go, it's time to take another look at the US election.

On the Democratic side, Clinton has pretty much secured the nomination. While it's still possible Sanders can win, the chances are very low. Even if Sanders were to win 70% of the vote in each remaining state, he would only roughly tie Clinton due to the gap in unpledged delegates. While some Clinton delegates did switch to Obama, the actual number was roughly 1/3rd, and even with 1/3rd of her delegates switching, Clinton still has far more unpledged delegates than Sanders. 70% to 30% is very unlikely, meaning that unless something shocking happens, Clinton is the Democratic Nominee.

On the Republican side, things are not so locked in. While Trump is the only candidate who can gather enough delegates to win on the first ballot, he does not have enough to avoid a second ballot. Meanwhile Kasich, who polls very well in the general, has still yet to overtake Rubio in the delegate count. While he could still win if there are multiple (IE 5 or more) ballots, the chances of this are rather low given the huge lead Trump has, and how far Cruz has come. There are 408 delegates for someone other than the top two candidates, 544 held by Cruz, and 846 by Trump. There are 674 delegates left, and over half of these delegates come from 4 states combined: California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Indiana.

Polling in California indicates a split somewhat similar to the already-existing national split (50%-30%-20%)

Indiana has not been polled in quite a while, but the old poll indicates that Trump and Cruz will do well enough to prevent Kasich to gain enough.

New Jersey polls do show Kasich in second, but Trump far out in first.

Pennsylvania is also showing Trump out to a good lead.

To add, Trump leads in Maryland as well.

Here's the catch: these are all winner-takes-all states. Even if Kasich wins Indiana, we find that Trump's lead only increases. This continues for other winner-take-all states that have been polled.

As such, the chances that anyone except the top two wins is very small, and the chances that Cruz wins is small but still present. Trump meanwhile, remains the front-runner by far.

So, with that in mind, what sort of general election are we looking at. The answer is a landslide:

As such, we don't have much of a change from the last update. I do, however, want to make clear that Trump, who I earlier said 'could not' win the nomination, can win the general election if Clinton (however unlikely) decides to run a campaign as awful as the Republican candidates did. 

The next update will occur on or after June 8th, after the final primaries are over.


  1. We are assuming perhaps a Canadian scenario where a bottom candidate drops out at the Convention. I don't think that works in GOP or Democratic Conventions...Examples to point out are rare since majorities have prevailed for some time but in 1940 the GOP went to 6 ballots with the lowest candidates continuing to run and not being eliminated. Also, while Trump won delegates votes on the first round, not all of his votes are from delegates who like him (they can switch after the first ballot)...Now I hope I got all that right.

  2. Yes, under current rules, no one is ever forced out, except by someone getting 50% +1.

  3. Yes, under current rules, no one is ever forced out, except by someone getting 50% +1.