Does Ted Cruz Still Have A Chance?
Donald Trump has a sizable lead in the primary delegate count. Is it too late for Ted Cruz to overcome Trump and win the nomination?
Let’s take a look at the numbers. As it stands right now:
There are still 18 states left to vote and with 944 delegates left to be decided, Senator Cruz can still reach the needed number, but it will be an uphill battle.
Here’s the good news for Ted Cruz:
- There’s not a lot of polling out there for most of the upcoming states. But from what we do have, Cruz is winning the last 2 polls from Wisconsin’s winner-take-all 44 delegate primary on April 5th. He was down by 10 a month ago. If he can score a comeback win here in a blue collar state, it will be a good sign of movement.
- In delegate-rich California, Cruz has shrunk Trump’s lead from 16 earlier this month, to 1 point in the most recent poll. There are 172 delegates available in this winner-take-all June primary. A Cruz win here would be huge in keeping Donald Trump from getting the nomination.
- There are no more southern state’s left. Trump has absolutely dominated in the South. The map still isn’t overwhelmingly in Cruz’s favor, but it definitely is better for him. Many of the states still left (South Dakota, North Dakota, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Nebraska, and Montana) are geographically and/or demographically similar to states he’s won in the past.
- Marco Rubio could at any time release his delegates. If he does, you would have to believe the majority would go to Cruz over Trump.
Here comes the uphill battle part:
Trump is ahead of Cruz by more than 270 delegates and he is practically guaranteed wins in New York (95 delegates) and New Jersey (51) and probably a few other smaller northeastern states. He’s also holding small leads in Pennsylvania (71) over Kasich and California (172) over Cruz and within striking distance of Cruz in Wisconsin (44). With the exception of New York, these are winner-take-all states.
So is it possible? Yes. Is it likely, probably not. Cruz would need to win 772 of the 944 (or 82%) of the remaining delegates to win. Even if every single Rubio delegate were released and decided to switch to Cruz, he would still need about 67% of the remaining delegates to win. Compare that to Trump who only needs to win about 53% of the remaining delegates to win.
Cruz’s best hope would be to secure those Rubio delegates, win the seven states we listed earlier that he should, pull off wins in Wisconsin, California, and a few surprises, and have Kasich play the part of spoiler for Trump in Pennsylvania. He still may not be able to win the nomination outright before the convention, but if Trump doesn’t either, Cruz would be in a strong position to make a case at a contested convention.