Yes Donald, Delegate Math is Hard!

Earlier on Friday I released the deepest number crunching I have done in any Presidential cycle of my lifetime. 

With only really one true optimistic finish for Ted Cruz in only one state, and very generous and favorable outcomes for Donald in many of the ones expected, I still had a fairly solid hunch that I am not far off.

Headed into the convention in Cleveland:
   Ted Cruz: 1198
   Donald Trump: 1131

As I pondered this potential I felt as though I just wanted a second set of eyes before I published it.

From two Trump-leaning analysts, and two Cruz-leaning analysts, the response was unanimous: “Seems strange after all this time of Donald leading… But not at all far fetched!”

This isn’t going to please the Trump supporters in my networks, but some of the people in your own camp were the ones that confirmed for me the rationale I used in coming to these landing spots.

I then headed over to see what Nate Silver and the FiveThirtyEight boys were seeing. Sure enough they were spotting the same thing I was and downgrading their original “easiest path” for Trump to 1237 considerably. 

They had projected Trump to win Wisconsin, they had him leaning in Indiana, and they had him projected better in California and New Mexico. (Donald only hired a California delegate recruiter this week. Cruz has had one for almost a year and it took him almost five months to get a full slate (169 delegates/169 alternates) for the 53 contests that vote there.)

But Silver’s reworking of the numbers did not improve Trump’s outlook. And while some of the contests in the Northeast may hit original FiveThirtyEight’s estimates, because of the losses in Wisconsin, North Dakota, Colorado, Utah and likely close to shut outs in Indiana and Nebraska, now Trump has to beat projections from earlier.

All told by Nate Silver’s “best case/least resistance scenario” for Trump puts him at -47 or so delegates. His “deterministic” projections (based on the strictest polling evidence available) puts Trump somewhere in the -82 or so delegate range behind projections needed.

My spread to 1237 is 106, but the more likely “who will have the lead” issue on my spread is 67.

So I’m not terribly far off from the most accurate predictor of the modern era.

But here’s the larger point: two candidates will arrive in Cleveland with roughly 1100 delegates. The one who will most likely be the nominee will be one who knows the rules best and builds the strongest relationships.

And that’s NOT likely to be the team that has whined like a school girl when losing and yelling taunts and insults at everybody while winning.

People matter… Relationships matter… Character matters… And knowledge matters.

Should be an interesting next few weeks!

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