Political Analysis - April 29, 2016

Political Forecast & Review - April 29, 2016


The east again came through for Donald Trump (R) as the real estate mogul won all five states in the April 26 primary, and looks to have gained 110 of the available 118 available delegates. He needed to commit at least 103 delegates to remain on course for a first ballot victory, something that now looks to be within his grasp.

The eastern regional primary was Trump’s best overall performance to date. He won all five states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, scoring a majority vote in each place. He converted Connecticut and Maryland into backdoor winner-take-all states by winning each of their congressional districts. Mr. Trump won every county in the pair of states and Delaware.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had another poor night on the east coast, placing third in most of the states. The pressure reverts to him as the candidates proceed to Indiana on May 3, another winner-take-all by congressional district state. The Hoosier State is becoming a must win for the Texas Senator. The latest three polls all suggest that Mr. Trump is leading in Indiana, but Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) agreeing to allow Cruz to have a free shot at Trump in the Hoosier State may be enough to put the Texan over the top.

For the Democrats, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) further cemented her lock on the party nomination by adding approximately 250 delegates to her national total by winning four of the five eastern regional primary states. She now is less than 250 delegates away from clinching the nomination, and will become the official nominee early on June 7.


Late Democratic primary polling correctly forecasted a Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD-8) victory in the Maryland Democratic Senate nomination battle. He defeated Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD-4), 53-39%. Van Hollen will succeed retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) with what should be an easy general election victory over state House Minority Leader Kathy Szeliga (R).

In Pennsylvania, the one Harper Polling survey that predicted former gubernatorial chief of staff Katie McGinty (D) pulling away from former Representative and 2010 Senate nominee Joe Sestak (D-PA-7) proved correct. All other closing surveys were still projecting Sestak with a small lead or the two tied. The Democratic establishment, including no less than President Obama and Vice President Biden, lined up solidly behind McGinty, which accounts for her late momentum. She will now face first-term Sen. Pat Toomey (R) in November in what will likely be a close race.


The Maryland primary also produced two new eventual Congressmen. In the open MD-4, former Lt. Governor and defeated gubernatorial nominee Anthony Brown (D) scored a 42-34-19% win over ex-Prince Georges States Attorney Glenn Ivey (D) and state Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk (D).

The MD-8 Democratic primary will likely prove to be the most costly nomination contest in the country. The top three candidates combined to spend more than $15 million on the primary, with state Sen. Jamie Raskin (D) scoring a 34-27-24% victory over Total Wine owner David Trone (D), and former news anchor and national hotel executive Kathleen Matthews (D). Raskin will claim the seat in the fall. Trone, who had not previously run for political office, was the spending driver, dropping more than $12 million on the race, the vast majority from his own personal wealth.

In Pennsylvania, we saw the first incumbent US House member of the 2016 election cycle suffer a re-nomination defeat. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA-2), facing a multi-charge federal indictment, fell to state Representative Dwight Evans (D), a former gubernatorial and Philadelphia Mayor candidate. Evans will be easily elected in the general election and will keep the PA-2 seat in the Democratic column.

Moving to Bucks County, the brother of retiring Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R), former FBI agent Brian Fitzpatrick (R), easily won the GOP nomination to replace his brother. He will face state Rep. Steve Santarsiero (D) in what will likely be a competitive November campaign.

House Transportation and Infrastructure chairman Bill Shuster (R) won a tight 51-49% re-nomination battle despite outspending his opponent, retired Coast Guard officer Art Halvorson (R), by a 10:1 margin. Shuster will coast in the general election, however. He has no further opponent.

In the open Lancaster seat, retiring ten-term Rep. Joe Pitts (R) will yield to state Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R), as expected, though businessman Chet Beiler (R) outspent him in the primary election campaign. Smucker is the odds-on favorite for victory in November.