Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-By-SA 2.0)
 Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-By-SA 2.0)
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-By-SA 2.0)

There were no surprises on “Western Tuesday” with the Arizona Primary and Utah Caucus.

Donald Trump won the Arizona Primary which was a winner-take-all closed primary as expected. As of this writing the results are with 91% reporting:

  1. Donald Trump – 47.1% (244,922) – 59 delegates
  2. Ted Cruz – 24.6% (127,682)
  3. John Kasich – 10.0% (52,032)

It should be noted that 18.3% of the vote went to other candidates. This is mainly because early voting started one month ago. Marco Rubio who dropped after the Florida Primary received more votes than Kasich.

Ted Cruz was expected to win the Utah Caucus and with 46.7% of the precincts reporting it’s likely he will win all of the state’s delegates since there is a winner-take-all trigger of 50%.

  1. Ted Cruz – 69.8% (77,930) – 40 delegates
  2. John Kasich – 16.8% (18,710)
  3. Donald Trump – 13.4% (14,977)

This brings the delegate count to:

  1. Donald Trump – 739
  2. Ted Cruz – 465
  3. Marco Rubio – 166
  4. John Kasich – 143
  5. Ben Carson – 8

With the remaining state contests there are 839 delegates up for grabs still. Colorado and Wyoming still has delegates to be decided at their state convention (not counted in the total), but those could be bound or unbound. North Dakota offers 28 delegates (counted) but they are unbound so in reality there are 811 bound delegates up for grabs in the remaining contests.

Some observations.

Delegate math makes a contested convention likely.

It looks like Trump will have to win 61.4% of the remaining bound delegates, and Cruz will have to win 95% of the remaining bound delegates to reach the 1237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination before the convention. It is impossible for Kasich to win the nomination prior to the convention, and it is improbable that Cruz will reach the threshold on June 7th.

Cruz has no plans to drop out. Kasich has no plans to drop out. There are a lot of Republicans who are dissatisfied with Trump as a nominee. Trump still has yet to win a state with a majority of Republicans. Can he reach 1237? Sure his math looks better than everyone else, but I think it is more likely he’ll not reach that number and perhaps come to convention with more delegates than Cruz.  I think this nomination will either be decided on June 7th or at convention. There will also be 100 or so delegates who are unbound or uncommitted that the candidates can reach out to so candidates will be wooing those folks for the first ballot at convention should there be a contested convention.

One month of early voting in Arizona did not help Cruz.

It was suspected that Trump led among those who voted early by a wide margin. I’ve seen as many as 54% of Arizonans voted early. There has not been any exit polling released that I’ve seen thus far so I couldn’t tell how Cruz fared among those who voted on March 22nd. One number I do want to point out – 18.3%. That is the number of people who voted for another candidate not in the race, the lion’s share for Rubio.

Early voting likely sunk Cruz’s campaign before people started voting on Tuesday.

It’s immigration issue, stupid.

Immigration which is a definite hot button issue for Arizona Republicans. While I don’t have exit polling to back it up I believe that is likely the issue carried Trump who was endorsed by former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Mormons don’t like Trump.

This is Trump’s worst demographic. Utah’s electorate is 90% Mormon. Idaho has a large percentage of Mormons which was another state that Trump lost. While the American Samoa results are not in, 25% of American Samoa belong to the LDS Church so I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump doesn’t do well there (though those delegates will probably be unbound).

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