Delegate Math and How the West Was Won: How the Republicans Stop Trump

On March 8, businessman Donald Trump won big in the Michigan and Mississippi Republican primaries. But did he win by enough? Should we start rolling out the Trump wine and water for this summer’s convention? Actually, the G.O.P can still defeat Trump. But, it’s going to take some working together. Here’s where things stand and here’s How the Republicans stop Trump:



Donald Trump campaigns for president. Photo credit: Darron Birgenheier/Flickr Photo link:



A candidate needs 1237 delegates to win.


As of March 9, 2016, Trump has approximately 458 of those delegates.


There are 524 proportional, direct, and unbound delegates left. Based on voting results to date, Trump will win no more than 40% of these delegates, or 210 more delegates.


That totals 458+210=668 delegates for Trump, without the winner-take-all states.


There are 883 delegates to hand out in winner-take-all contests. If Trump wins: Virgin Islands, Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Nebraska, Mariana Islands, New Jersey and South Dakota, he wins 526 more delegates.


And Kasich wins Ohio…


And Cruz wins Missouri, Arizona, California and Montana…


That totals 668+526= 1194 delegates for Trump.


That is not enough to secure the nomination.


So here is what needs to happen:


Kasich needs to pour all of his efforts into Ohio. He is only trailing slightly and he has a good chance of succeeding. Cruz should stop campaigning in Ohio and make sure he doesn’t undermine the Kasich effort. In Ohio, a vote for Kasich is a vote for Cruz.


After Ohio, Kasich needs to get out. After delivering Ohio to the party, Kasich in the race stands in the way of Cruz coming out on top in the critical winner-take-all states. Cruz is the only candidate with a chance to defeat Trump head-to-head. Whether Cruz is your favorite candidate or not, we have to be pragmatic if #anyonebuttrump is the goal.


Rubio needs to quit, today. Do not pass GO, do not go to Florida for it’s beautiful sunshine, beaches, oranges, family entertainment (I love you Florida) and a last-ditch, home-state effort. Rubio is done.




While I agree that one candidate (my preference is Cruz), winning the nomination outright before the convention is ideal, unless states start dropping like flies to Cruz with Rubio and Kasich’s exit, this might be the best we can hope for.


Rubio has no chance to win Florida. On the slim-to-none chance that Cruz could win Florida, Rubio needs to get out of the way and leave the party this slim possibility. In any event, Rubio should allow Cruz to build momentum by scoring higher in Florida than he would have if Rubio had stayed in the race.


Cruz needs to seek endorsements and pour resources into California, where he was winning in the last poll, though the last poll is ancient. California is do-or-die for Cruz.


Cruz should quickly do some polling and then look at the numbers in Missouri and Arizona to make sure he can win these states, or he needs to pick another couple of large states to focus on. He can look at states that border the west such as South Dakota and Nebraska. If he can compete in any of these states he should do so and make a plan moving east to compete in as many states as practical. I’m suggesting this plan after looking at a map of Republican voting-to-date, which appears to be split right down the middle of the country into east and west, with Minnesota, in the middle, even going to Rubio to illustrate the east-west divide.


As long as Cruz wins a couple of the winner-take-all contests, this ends up in a brokered convention. And it’s not many that Cruz needs to win. If Cruz wins California and a couple of others, the next time Trump says, “I always win,” he’ll have to add “except for when I don’t.”


If Rubio and Kasich really mean #anyonebuttrump, like they say they do, they will get on board with this plan. This is how the Republican Party Stops Trump.


But Michelle, aren’t you worried about a brokered convention? Won’t the Trump supporters be unreasonable/loud/unruly, etc?


No, I’m not worried. A brokered convention gave us Abraham Lincoln. You can read about it here. And Lincoln did not lead in the first round of voting. Lincoln went on to win the election and ultimately save the union.

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