Trump currently has 849 delegates. If he adds 135 tomorrow, that would put him at 984 delegates, 253 delegates short of the nomination. After tomorrow there will be 502 delegates left. Trump would need to win just over 50 percent of them. It has become increasingly tough to keep Trump under 1,237 because out of those 502 delegates, 406 of them are winner-take-all either statewide or by congressional district. Indiana accounts for 57 of the delegates. This is why the deal is important.
Indiana awards its delegates in a winner-take-all primary statewide and by district. The statewide winner receives 30 delegates; 27 delegates are split three each per district. The primary is next Tuesday, May 3, 2016. The person with a plurality wins the delegates.
The current Real Clear Politics polling average for Indiana is 39.3 percent Trump, 33 percent Cruz, and 19.3 percent Kasich. A little over eight percent are undecided. This polling puts Cruz within historical striking distance of Trump, even with Kasich in the race. If Cruz failed to win statewide in Indiana and gain the vast majority of the delegates, it would be devastating. If Cruz won statewide and in seven of the congressional districts, he would receive 51 delegates, keeping those from Trump.
If the projections for tomorrow night hold true, and Cruz wins 51 delegates with Trump winning the remaining six, Trump would have 990 delegates, with 445 remaining. That would mean he’d need to win 247 of the remaining delegates, or 55.5 percent. If the delegate totals were reversed, because Kasich maintained an active campaign, Trump would have 1,035 delegates, and need 202 of the remaining delegates. That would be 45 percent of the delegates, under Trump’s historical delegate average.
If Donald Trump wins Indiana, he is almost certain to garner 1,237 delegates and attain a first ballot nomination. The Cruz and Kasich camps understand this, and consequently made this deal.
Cruz’s trade-off for Kasich is in two proportional states. New Mexico and Oregon are full proportional states—Oregon has no threshold and New Mexico has a 15 percent threshold. The states award 52 delegates together. Trump is projected to win 40 percent or 21 of these delegates with or without this deal.
Eight nights from tonight, the nation’s eyes will be on Indiana. If this deal works and Cruz wins Indiana, it will be probable that the Republican race is headed towards an open convention. If Trump still comes out on top, he will sit atop the Iron Throne in Cleveland.
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