This leaves us with California. And at this point, our assumptions really matter. He’s at 1,072 delegates in our worst-case scenario, which means that he would need to win 96 percent of the delegates to reach 1,237. In our best-case scenario, he’s at 1,146 delegates, meaning he needs around half of the state’s delegates.
What will happen in California? That is a very good question. California allocates almost all of its delegates by congressional district, and it is a closed Republican primary. Half of California’s districts gave President Obama almost two-thirds of the vote or more, meaning that there are relatively few districts with large numbers of Republicans; the statewide vote will be heavily clustered in a few districts, meaning statewide polling is of little use. Moreover, there are relatively few white ethnics (there’s no real Staten Island of California).
So who is voting in Nancy Pelosi’s district in a closed Republican primary? I have no earthly idea. One would suspect these are Kasich’s voters, given how he performed in the Chicago and New York silk-stocking districts, but it’s impossible to know. Who votes in a Republican primary in the minority-majority districts in Los Angeles, or the Central Valley?