As I outlined in more detail in a previous post, Indiana’s May 3rd primary figures prominently in any scenario about the Republican nomination. But the lack of polling of the state may be seriously distorting perceptions of the nomination fight.
To summarize, when experts try to game out how close Donald Trump will end up to the 1,237 required to clinch the GOP nomination before the convention, they go through the remaining states, assess how well he’s likely to do, and then take into account the delegate allocation rules of the states. Most states fit into at least one of three categories: 1) Polling data point to a clear favorite; 2) The demographics or regional dynamics point to a clear favorite even in the absence of polling data; or 3) The delegate allocation rules are proportional, so even if a candidate wins a state, he won’t be able to make major delegate gains.
None of these three conditions apply to Indiana, where: there hasn’t been any polling; the demographics and regional dynamics give no clear advantage to either Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz; and the delegate allocation rules are heavily favorable to the winner.