Political Analysis - April 22, 2016

Political Forecast & Review - April 22, 2016



Donald Trump (R) did what was necessary on April 19 in New York, rebounding strongly from the doldrums of his past couple of weeks. Looking to secure 80 of the Empire State’s 95 total delegates, projections suggest that Trump might obtain as high as 87 bound delegates, which would put him back on a potential path to claim a first ballot victory. He will also likely get the three unbound Republican National Committee delegates bringing his total to 90.

Adding 90 to his pledged delegate total, the Republican front-runner reached an unofficial 847 of the 1,237 delegates required for a first ballot victory.

The numbers are still difficult for Trump, however. Even counting his strong home state performance, the real estate mogul will require 57.5% of the available delegates to reach the majority mark to claim the nomination. Going into New York he needed more than 62% of the outstanding votes.

Trump scored 60.5% of the New York statewide vote, allowing him to capture the eleven at-large delegates awarded to a candidate attracting majority support. Gov. John Kasich (R-OH), who had a presence in New York, added five delegates to his nationwide total and registered 25% of the popular vote. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who insulted the state’s electorate in early debates by linking Trump to “New York values”, which he meant in a pejorative way, helped result in the Texas Senator scoring only 14.5% and winning no delegates.

As expected, Hillary Clinton (D) won the Democratic primary, easily defeating Sen. Bernie Sanders (I/D-VT) in the state she once represented in the Senate. Ms. Clinton garnered 58% of the vote and slightly exceeded her projected goal of 170 delegates. This means she will only need 28% of remaining delegates to become the Democratic presidential nominee.

Next Tuesday, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island voters will go to the polls in another critical primary day as the campaign winds down.


Another new poll finds the North Carolina Senate race getting tighter. Elon University released their April survey finding that Sen. Richard Burr’s (R) advantage over former state Rep. Deborah Ross (D) dwindled to just four points, 37-33%, with a very large undecided factor. Though Democrats originally viewed Ms. Ross as a second tier candidate, her challenge effort is beginning to formulate. Sen. Burr must be rated as the favorite to win in November, but this contest has development potential.

Late Democratic primary polling suggests the Maryland primary winner will be Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD-8), as he seems to be gaining significant momentum. The Dem nominee will succeed retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D).

In Pennsylvania, polls show a tightening of the race between former Representative and 2010 Senate nominee Joe Sestak (D-PA-7) and former gubernatorial chief of staff Katie McGinty (D). The Democratic establishment, including no less than President Obama and Vice President Biden, have lined up solidly behind McGinty, which accounts for her recent gains. The late momentum, however, could be too little, too late. Polls find Sestak margins of seven, six, and zero percent over McGinty from a series of regional surveys. The winner faces first-term Sen. Pat Toomey (R) in November.


Rep. Gwen Graham (D-FL-2) finally announced her 2016 political plans, and her declaration came as no surprise. With the court-ordered mid-decade redistricting casting her into a solidly Republican new 2nd District so that a majority minority seat could be created solely in northern Florida, it became evident that the freshman Representative who was one of just two Democrats nationwide to unseat a Republican incumbent in 2014 would not return to the House.

Late this week, Rep. Graham announced that she will not seek re-election, but hinted broadly about a run for the state’s open gubernatorial seat in 2018. Rep. Graham retiring means that 45 House seats will be open in the 2016 election cycle, eight in Florida alone. 

Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK-1) has drawn what could be a significant primary challenger as the Sooner State candidate filing closed. Oil company owner Tom Atkinson (R) filed to run at the last moment, and is expected to spend significant resources on his campaign.

Bridenstine is no stranger to upset primary victories. In 2012, he came from nowhere to unseat then-Rep. John Sullivan (R) in the GOP nomination battle. Bridenstine is favored, but this may be a campaign worth watching.