Though all eyes and campaigns are focused nonstop on next week’s New York primary — with 95 delegates at stake — just one week after that, another five states go to the polls.
Pennsylvania is the biggest delegate prize up from grabs on April 26, with 71 delegates at stake.
And a new poll just released this morning shows GOP frontrunner Donald Trump with a wide lead ahead of rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich. However, given the large percentage — 56% — of undecideds remaining, election day could yield some surprises. As we’ve noted previously, late-deciders typically have gone for someone other than Trump, while Trump supporters are some of the most loyal and unlikely to change their minds.
And here’s what may be the bigger problem, despite Trump’s current lead in the poll: even if Trump holds this current lead in Pennsylvania, he’ll only be awarded 17 of the state’s 71 delegates.
Via The Hill:
A Monmouth University survey released Thursday morning found Trump taking 44 percent, followed by Ted Cruz at 28 percent and John Kasich at 23 percent.
However, even if Trump holds his lead into election day, he’ll only automatically be awarded 17 of the state’s delegates.
The remaining 54 delegates are elected directly by voters and not bound to the popular vote. The campaigns are maneuvering behind the scenes to get their supporters elected, and so far Cruz has proven best at this.
“It looks like Trump should be able to bank the 17 statewide delegates in Pennsylvania,” said Monmouth pollster Patrick Murray. “The real question is how the directly elected district delegates will vote at the convention in July.”
Regardless of the Pennsylvania specifics, Trump is poised for a strong finish to April that could move him significantly closer to the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination outright and avoid a contested convention.
He’s expected to capture the lion’s share of New York’s 95 delegates next Tuesday and looks to be be competitive in all of five states – Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Rhode Island — voting on April 26.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]