While I have spent the majority (read - all) of my internet activity opposing Trump and championing Cruz on Facebook, this thought is simply too long and perhaps in depth to post that there. Plus, I always need to post something over here for my poor failing blog. With that thought, I wanted to really drill down on last night's election results.
Not that anyone needs a primer on this process at this point, but let us be clear. Statewide wins don't necessarily matter, but delegate count absolutely does. All things considered, it is quite clear that Donald Trump had a very good night on Tuesday. That does not mean he was the clear winner as he lost Ohio and nearly lost North Carolina and Missouri (still in the air as of this writing.) Trump clearly took Florida handily and did much better in Illinois than perhaps he should have considering the events of the last week. But thems the breaks. So let's drill down.
I'm looking at the Real Clear Politics average of polls and comparing them to the actual results. In doing so, I want to see who over-performs and who under-performs. So let's look at this state by state (Note that actual figures are subject to change as I take these numbers as of this morning and thus may change slightly up or down.) I will post the average from RCP and then the actual result showing who out performed their polls and who did not.
Ohio: Kasich - 38.8/46.8 (up) , Trump - 35.4/35.7 (up) , Cruz - 17.8/13.1 (down) , Rubio - 4.2/2.9 (down)
In this case, we can see Kasich was not wrong to say many times over that he would win Ohio. He is the sitting governor and is popular in the state. It is more than possible that calls from the Rubio campaign to vote for Kasich here helped when you look at Rubio's final tally. Perhaps even Cruz supporters played this game as Kasich's totals far outweighed his poll numbers. Trump slightly over-performed but that it is so close, I would call that a push. This state is an anomaly as it was needed to keep Trump from gaining steam and you do not see that support for Kasich anywhere else in the country. Nonetheless, Kasich won all 66 delegates from the state.
Florida: Trump - 43/45.8 (up) , Rubio - 24.7/27 (up) , Cruz - 18.4/17.1 (down) , Kasich - 9.1/6.8 (down)
Yet another state in which the winner take all stakes probably effected the outcome. Rubio out-performed (perhaps aided by early voters) and so did Trump, though not by much. Not much to take away from the state other than its typical issues with voting. Apparently Democrats tried to vote either for or against Trump and were surprised the could not do so in a closed primary. I would have expected Cruz to do better at this point, but perhaps due to the specifics of this state and candidates, there was a push for Rubio at the end. It did not work and now Rubio has rightly dropped out of the race. End result, Trump wins all 99 delegates.
Illinois: Trump - 36/38.8 (up) , Cruz - 29.5/30.3 (up) , Kasich - 18.5/19.7 (up) , Rubio - 13.5/8.7 (down)
And here you can see Rubio's total support failing and Kasich's support hurting the Cruz campaign. This was a state I saw Cruz over-performing, and he did. But so did Trump by twice as much. Illinois is not winner take all, but rather winner take most - most delegates are awarded by district. And looking at who won districts shows that Kasich cost both Trump and Cruz potential delegates. (See this for totals - scroll down to find the district voting.) That it was somewhat close does not matter. Trump did very well in Illinois winning more than the majority of delegates. By my count now, Trump got 49, Cruz got 9 and Kasich got 4. That Trump won the state he gets the statewide delegates as well as the at large delegates. It is difficult to say that if Rubio and Kasich were not in it, that things would have been wildly different. But this state more than any shows that supporting a failing campaign does not assist the challenger when there is such.
North Carolina: Trump - 41.3/40.2 (down) , Cruz - 29/36.8 (up) , Kasich - 11.3/12.7 (up) , Rubio - 8.7/7.7 (down)
Here we start to see the crack in the armor for Trump. Trump's polling was inflated and Cruz over-performed well. Trump had handily beat Cruz throughout the South excepting Texas. But as always, Cruz picked up delegates anyway excepting South Carolina. In this purely proportional state, Cruz effectively tied Trump. Trump got 29 delegates and Cruz got 27. But Kasich got 9 and Rubio got 4. Without them in the race, Cruz may very well have gained more delegates and more than that, could claim he won another southern state. I won't say we are seeing a pattern, but rather a causal relationship.
Missouri: Trump - 36/40.8 (up) , Cruz - 29/40.6 (up) , Rubio - 9/6.1 (down) , Kasich - 8/10.1 (up)
As of this writing, this contest is still contested. I've seen some giving Trump the state-wide delegates due to his seeming lead, but it is too close to call. It is another winner take most state and as I read it, Trump won 25 delegates to Cruz's 15. This suggests that Cruz will eventually win the state (again, scroll down for districts) but that is not certain as I assume a recount will effect the current totals. As of now, Trump is leading by roughly 1,700 votes. That would be another 12 delegates whoever wins it overall. Of all voting states yesterday, this one shows what Kasich and Rubio are doing trying to challenge Trump. They just cost Cruz 12 delegates if things remain as we see them now.
So the final tally is Trump wins 202 delegates, Kasich wins 75, Cruz wins 51 and Rubio wins 4 (and then drops out.) The remaining 12 statewide delegates from Missouri are possibly still in play (and let's not forget that the Northern Marianas Islands gave Trump another 9 yesterday.) So all told, of course Trump had a very good day in a four man race. Hopefully what I have shown above is sufficient suggestion that a two man race is preferred, at least if you do not want Donald Trump as the GOP nominee. Trump is over-performing in some races and under his poll numbers in others. Outside of the specific races in Florida and Ohio, Cruz has been over-performing for some time now (sometimes way over-performing.) With 7 winner take all states ahead, and many others that are winner take most, it is time for the GOP voters to get behind the anti-Trump candidate if they do not wish to see that in the general election. I am pleased that Rubio dropped out and have called for Kasich to do the same. But even if he does not, I hope voters know that votes for him are effectively wasted. I will always say that you should vote for the person you believe in. Hopefully you know what that votes means in the larger scheme. Vote smart! That is all.