I. General Explanation
These estimates are keyed to the Green Papers, a detailed specification of the rules governing the several state primaries. I omit caucuses, which take place in fifteen of the states and territories, because I do not understand the rules governing them well enough to make any estimates.
The numbers in the Green Papers have changed since I began this effort. Originally, they stated that 2484 delegates would be sent to the Convention in July. Now they say there will be 2472. I have no idea what happened to the other twelve. As of now, it will require 1237 votes at the Convention to choose a nominee. The Green Papers still list 1865 as the delegates to be chosen by primaries and caucuses, which leaves 607 so-called "super-delegates."
What is more, the rules in some states have changed since I last read them! Sheeesh!!! Therefore, this exercise will yield different results.
This exercise is not intended to produce a prediction of the outcome. It is a calculation of the likely result given certain assumptions. Here are the assumptions on which the calculation is based:
(a) Fairly quickly, the race reduces to a three way contest among Trump, Cruz, and Rubio, with several other candidates remaining in the race but garnering, among them, no more than 20% of the total vote.
(b) Trump gets a steady 35-40% of the vote.
(c) Cruz and Rubio between them get 40-50% of the vote, with neither getting as high as 30% save in one or two states.
(d) Few if any of the super-delegates will vote for Trump at the Convention, so if he is to get the nomination, he must win the 1237 delegates in the primaries and caucuses, which is to say 66.4% of them.
III. Important facts
(a) The Republican National Committee allocates 3 delegates to a state for each Congressional District [CD], plus some number of delegates-at-large.
(b) The elected delegates are pledged to a candidate and must vote for him or her on the first ballot at the Convention. The super-delegates are unpledged [at least in some cases!!! But see South Carolina.] and may vote for anyone [I think this is true, but the Green Papers are unclear.]
(a) WTA = Winner takes all. The highest vote getter wins all of the delegates selected in a primary.
(b) WTM = Winner takes most. A delegate allocation system that gives some delegates to the second and even third place finishers in a primary but allocates an out-sized proportion to the candidate getting the most votes. For example, in each CD, a state may award 2 of the delegates to the top vote getter in that CD and 1 to the second-place vote getter. The at-large delegates may be allocated proportionally to the vote getters in the state who get 20% or more of the total vote. [This is quite common. Note that if Trump gets 40%, Cruz gets 25%, and Rubio gets 20%, then Trump gets 47% of the at-large delegates, because 40% is 47% of 85%.]
(c) PROP = genuine proportional allocation of delegates according to the popular vote. Very few states use this system, but New Hampshire, the first primary, does.
With all that said, here is the spreadsheet information:
|State||Pledged Delegates||Likely Trump||% of Total||System|