On the Democratic side, Senator Bernie Sanders took 47 of Wisconsin’s delegates on Tuesday, leaving front-runner Hillary Clinton with 36. This keeps Clinton in the lead with 1,748 delegates to Sander’s 1,058. Despite Sanders’ repeated insistence that many of the 469 “superdelegates” in Clinton’s column should come over to his side, precious few have so far, leaving him with just 31. Two thousand three hundred eighty-two delegates are needed to win on the first ballot in July. With Clinton ahead of Sanders in polls in the delegate-rich states of New York (247), Pennsylvania (189), and California (475), it’s all but over but the throwing of confetti and releasing of the balloons for Hillary in Philadelphia.
On the Republican side, Senator Ted Cruz landed a body blow on Donald Trump’s seemingly invincible campaign to win in Cleveland in July, taking nearly half the popular vote and all of Wisconsin’s 42 delegates. That brings Cruz to 514 delegates, compared to Trump’s 740. During his victory speech, Cruz uttered two likely false but hopeful narratives: “Either before Cleveland or at the convention in Cleveland, together we will win the majority of the delegates, and together we will beat Hillary Clinton in November.”
The polls and the math are showing that neither outcome is likely, but with so many variables in the mix, both are possible. Doing the math shows Trump leading Cruz overwhelmingly in New York (95 delegates, awarded proportionally), Pennsylvania (72 delegates, winner-take-all), and California (172 delegates, winner-take-all). That brings Trump to more than 1,050 delegates, with more than 450 delegates still to be awarded by early June. Translation: Trump needs less than 40 percent of those remaining after New York, Pennsylvania, and California to make it to Cleveland with enough delegates (1,237) to win on the first ballot.
Unless, of course, Trump stumbles again. His remarks concerning women haven’t hurt him fatally in the primaries, and perhaps they will be distant memory come November. But according to a recent national poll by Investors Business Daily, he would lose the female vote by 52-29 percent, costing him the national election to Clinton 47-35 percent.
“He’s done it to himself,” said Penny Young Nance, president of Concerned Women for America. “The press didn’t make him do those late-night tweets. He did it to himself.… His electability [in the general election] among women is terrible.”
Jennifer Lawless, director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University and an unabashed liberal, agrees with the conservative Nance:
Trump is the least likely to be able to make up ground with women, and that’s because it seems he cannot help himself from criticizing and condemning women and saying overtly sexist things.
In order to win a [national] election, the Republican candidate doesn’t need to win the majority of the female voice, but he does needs to at least make that gender gap smaller than it has been in the last two election cycles. I just don’t see how Trump can do that.
Neither do the polls, according to RealClearPolitics. Not a single one of the last 23 polls that match Clinton or Sanders to Cruz or Trump does Trump win. Not one. Cruz ties Clinton just once. Surprisingly, the loser in Wisconsin, Governor John Kasich, is the only one to beat Clinton (by anywhere between six and 16 points) if he is the GOP nominee in November.
Apparently Kasich carries less baggage than does Clinton, which counts for a lot to a large segment of the Democratic voting population, according to Washington Post political analyst Chris Cillizza: “I’m looking at the numbers here, at 80% for people who prize honesty and trustworthiness. Those problems [of Hillary’s] won’t go away … and they’ll be poked at every time we have a race [that has] exit polling.”
He added: "The delegate math is the delegate math and Clinton is still ahead comfortably … but there are problems for her that will get [worse]."
If Trump wins in Cleveland in July (a very big IF), he might be advised to take Sander’s approach in his race against Clinton. Sanders told the New York Daily News: “I have not attacked her personally. I will let the American people make a determination about her trustworthiness.”