Trump is still well in line to reach the magic 1,237 before Cleveland. This next week will play a critical role in accomplishing that, and here’s what he needs to do it.
msnbc.com reports: April 26
Pennsylvania (17 pledged delegates, 54 unbound): Trump leads in every poll and is on pace to win the 17 pledged delegates that will go to the statewide winner. The 54 unbound delegates will be selected in the primary and will be free to vote for whomever they want at the national convention. Even if they declare a candidate preference before the convention, they will not be formally bound to it in any way. That said, a large number of them are already committing publicly to supporting whichever candidate wins their congressional district – or at least to weighing the district result heavily in their decision. Trump may have trouble in a few districts around Philadelphia, but his wide poll lead suggests he’s on course to run up wide margins across most of the state. Practically speaking, it may be very hard for an unbound delegate who wins his or her slot by vowing to honor the results in his or her district to wiggle out of that commitment in the face of a Trump landslide. Target: 17 pledged delegates plus 36 unbound
Maryland (38 delegates): Trump leads the state by a wide margin and should easily win the 14 delegates that come with a statewide victory. The other 24 are given out by congressional district – three to the winner of each of the state’s eight districts. Polling suggests Trump may lose to John Kasich in the D.C. metro area. Target: 32 delegates
Delaware (16): It’s a winner-take-all state and Trump leads big. Target: 16
Connecticut (28): If Trump can break 50 percent statewide, he should sweep the state (provided he doesn’t finish behind Kasich in the 4th Congressional District, which includes the state’s affluent and highly educated Gold Coast). Currently, Trump is running at 48 percent statewide. Target: 28
Rhode Island (19): Demographically, this state is a perfect fit for Trump and should produce one of his largest margins. The bad news: Its system for delegate allocation is highly proportional, limiting his potential gains. Target: 10
Leaving aside the Pennsylvania unbound delegates, if Trump hits these numbers he’ll end April with at least 949 delegates.