You will never guess what percent of the vote Trump needs to win the GOP nomination



The latest polls have Donald Trump up at around 35% of the Republican primary vote. But what does he need to win the nomination outright?

Previously, I documented many of the arcane rules, state by state, for GOP presidential primary voting. Some states award delegates proprotionally, some award nearly all delegates to the candidate with the largest plurality of statewide votes, and some award delegates based on a combination of the largest plurality of statewide votes as well as largest plurality of votes within each congressional district.

A candidate needs 1236 votes to be nominated. Let's say of the 11 pure winner take all states (and territories) that Donald Trump wins all of them, getting 405 delegates out of 438 delegates (the rest being "uncommitted" prepicked GOP insiders who will probably support Marco Rubio). And let's say that of the 7 states that are combination winner take all statewide and by congressional district, Donald Trump wins 90% of the committed delegates, or 405 of them. Expect that even with pluralities that Donald Trump would lose a congressional district here or there, which is why I only award him 90%.

That would bring Trump up to 810 delegates. He needs 426 of the remaining 1322 committed delegates in the 35 states and territories with proportional voting to win (the actual number for these states is 1427 delegates, not 1322 delegates, but 105 delegates are prepicked GOP insiders). That means he needs just a shade over 32% of the vote to win.

Right now, according to recent polls, Donald Trump is at 35% of the vote nationally. That means, theoretically, he has enough to win the nomination outright right now.

Note there are some uncertainties here. He might lose more than 10% of the congressional districts. He might lose an entire state here and there. Alternatively, he could pick up some of the 128 delegates from Wyoming, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania, most of whom are officially uncommitted.

But keep your eye on that 32% number. If Trump stays at or above it, chances are he will win.

(Abridged version originally published in AT)



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