A Fox News poll released Friday showed Trump with an eight-point lead over Cruz in Indiana. But FiveThirtyEight’s forecast, including factors besides polls, has Cruz as a slight favorite. Trump has won most of the states around Indiana (save Ohio) by small margins, and Cruz should similarly be close in the state. Getting Kasich out of the picture means that the state’s delegates — given out to whoever wins the state or its nine congressional districts — are much more likely to go to Cruz. Indiana has 8 percent of the delegates left to acquire and 15 percent of the delegates Trump needs to clinch. Handing them to Cruz would be a big win for those who want a non-Trump nominee.
The delegates in Oregon and New Mexico, though? Eh. There hasn’t been good polling in either state recently, but each state allocates its delegates proportionally. Meaning that if Trump would get, say, 33 percent against Kasich’s 33 and Cruz’s 33, consolidating behind Kasich so that he gets 66 percent of the delegates doesn’t really subtract from Trump’s total at all.
Where the two really need to stop Trump is in winner-take-all states such as New Jersey (where Trump currently has the support of a majority of the state’s Republicans). That’s 51 delegates — 13 percent of what Trump still needs — that Cruz and Kasich want to disrupt. And the big prize, California, where the winner of the state and its 53 congressional districts will get all of the available delegates. The idea, apparently, is that Kasich and Cruz might target specific congressional districts? That’s optimistic.