Don’t Forget About Missouri and Illinois

Posted: Mar 15, 2016 7:54 PM
Don’t Forget About Missouri and Illinois

David Wasserman at FiveThirtyEight reminds us that perhaps Ohio and Florida might not be the highlights of tonight’s primary contests; Missouri and Illinois might be more indicative of the chaos that could arrive in Cleveland in July. Leah mentioned in her post that Trump is up seven points in the state's primary, and that if he does clinch Missouri, he could win every state tonight. Leah and Christine will have updates on those contests.

If Kasich wins Ohio, it’s a close call as to whether that’s good or bad news for Trump’s odds of getting to 1,237 delegates. On one hand, it would deny Trump 66 delegates, which is 5 percent of what’s needed to clinch the nomination. But it could also deny Cruz a one-on-one matchup against Trump, heightening Trump’s chances of winning future winner-take-all states. In other words, Ohio’s outcome tonight might not shed a lot of light on the odds of chaos in Cleveland.

However, Illinois and Missouri will tell us a lot. If Trump sweeps both states by large margins and wins in all 26 of their congressional districts, he’ll win 121 delegates — more than he’ll win in Florida. However, if Cruz can win at least 10 of their congressional districts, it will be a positive indicator for his competitiveness against Trump in future primaries and significantly heighten the odds of a contested convention.