By Jim Ellis
May 3, 2016 — The Indiana primary was never one that attracted much attention in early prognostications, but that has changed. Placed alone in early May, it appeared that either the Republican nomination battle would be over, or the candidates would be deadlocked and clearly headed to a brokered convention. Either way, the Hoosier State was not supposed to be a defining primary. Now, however, the Indiana winner-take-all by congressional district event may well provide the final momentum deciding election, at least for Republicans.
Originally, Indiana figured to be a Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) state, with him winning the 27 at-large delegates and most of the nine congressional districts (also 27 delegates, with three apiece going to the first-place finisher in the particular domain). Late polling, or at least seven of the final eight that were conducted in mid to late April, suggests, rather, a Donald Trump victory. To remain on his first ballot victory track with no unbound delegate votes, Trump needs to secure at least 39 delegates of the state’s 57-member contingent. Considering the polling results, though no study delved into individual CD’s, such a quota appears highly attainable.
Mathematically, no matter what happens later today, the Republican nomination will not be clinched. A big Trump win, however, could ignite such a momentum drive to overwhelm Sen. Cruz and cause the race to effectively be over. At least this is the unfolding scenario according to Trump … and, he may be right.
For the Democrats, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton needs less than 20 percent of the outstanding delegates to clinch her party’s nomination. Polling suggests the Indiana result will be close, but halving the delegates with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I/D-VT) would still be a major victory for the national front-runner. It is now only a matter of time before Clinton becomes the official Democratic presidential nominee.
Below are the latest unofficial delegate results:
||ESTIMATED DELEGATE COUNT
|Marco Rubio (out)
|Needed to win: 1,237
Total Clinton: 2,183
Total Sanders: 1,406
Needed to win: 2,383
• Delegate Count Source: Unofficial — The New York Times (for both parties)
• The Democratic totals include some Super Delegates who have announced their support for a candidate even though their states have not yet voted.