Real Clear Politics is reporting the Republican delegate count today as 736 for Donald Trump and 463 for Ted Cruz. While that is somewhat accurate, it has not been updated to reflect some recent changes in the delegate count. Those changes, and some of the other changes that are coming soon, will change the perception and the reality of this Republican nomination contest.
One of the major changes regards the 50 delegates of South Carolina, where all the candidates signed a pledge, as a condition of competing for the 50 delegates there, to support the eventual nominee chosen this summer by the Republican Convention in Cleveland. This past week, Donald Trump announced he will not support the party’s nominee unless he is that nominee. This violates the agreement he signed to compete in South Carolina and it will be the reason those delegates are stripped from Trump and designated as uncommitted delegates who can vote for any candidate they choose on the first ballot. That change leaves Trump with 686 delegates.
In Louisiana, where Trump and Cruz were only separated by three percent in the popular vote, the two candidates won 18 delegates from the votes, while Marco Rubio won five delegates. Since Rubio suspended his campaign, his five delegates have swung to Cruz, while Cruz has also won the five uncommitted delegates from Louisiana. Those ten delegates bring Cruz to 473 delegates.
This past weekend, Republicans selected delegates for 14 uncommitted delegates seats from Tennessee, all of which were won by the better organized Ted Cruz campaign, that is winning delegates in many places due to having a far more organized ground effort than the Trump campaign. With these 14 delegates, Cruz now has 487 delegates.
Local reports from Arizona, where conventions are picking the actual delegates that will go to Cleveland from that state, it is clear that at least 50 of the 58 Arizona delegates will be Ted Cruz supporters. At the same time, it is likely that all of North Dakota’s 28 delegates will be Cruz delegates. These gains of a total of 78 delegates will bring Ted Cruz up to 565 delegates, almost as many as the 636 delegates Trump will have left after losing 50 delegates in Arizona.
Before too long, Marco Rubio will endorse Ted Cruz, and allow his 166 remaining delegates vote for Ted Cruz at the convention this summer in Cleveland. This will bring Ted Cruz to a total of 731 delegates, and 506 away from getting the majority at the convention, and it also makes him the current delegate leader, ahead of Donald Trump currently by almost 100 delegates.
Through the rest of the states that have to vote in the Republican nomination contest, it seems likely Kasich will win Pennsylvania, while Trump will win New York and New Jersey while Ted Cruz wins just about all the rest. After Cruz wins Wisconsin and Trump wins New York and Connecticut, Cruz will had a 797 to 711 lead in the delegate count.
Pennsylvania will go for Kasich while Delaware and Maryland will go for Ted Cruz. After Indiana, Nebraska, and West Virginia vote for Ted Cruz, the Texas Senator will have 983 delegates to Trump’s 722. Oregon and Washington’s delegates will go mostly to Donald Trump while Ted Cruz will win California over Trump and Kasich. This will leave Cruz leading the delegate count over Trump by 1087 to 822. Trump will win all 51 delegates in New Jersey while Cruz wins most of the delegates in Montana, New Mexico, and South Dakota. While Trump will go into the convention no longer the delegate leader with 883 delegates, Cruz will clearly be the delegate leader with 1157 delegates, or 50 short of the 1237 needed to win the nomination.
Ted Cruz will easily win at least 50 of the uncommitted delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot before going on to defeat Hillary Clinton in the general election in November. Ted Cruz will be the GOP nominee and very possibly our next president.