If the current trends in the GOP primary race were to continue, Donald Trump would win a majority of delegates — but not until the very last day of primary voting in June. That's the projection from a new model built for Vox by Joshua Putnam — an expert on the primary process, a lecturer at the University of Georgia, and proprietor of the Frontloading HQ blog.
Our projection shows Trump on track to finish above the 1,237 delegates in the state races we've chosen to include. And in addition to what’s shown here, Trump would likely to win at least 100 more from contests we've chosen to exclude from the model due to the complexity of their rules. So he would likely have a bit of room to spare.
Now, think of this model as a ballpark projection of how the race would look if what's happened so far keeps happening in the states still to vote. It's a starting point for analysis, not an endpoint. We'll update and tweak these projections in the coming weeks, and incorporate the results of newer contests.
And let's be clear — this is not a model that means to predict anything going forward, especially the results of individual states. For instance, the model doesn’t take into account if a state is the home state of a certain candidate. The model also doesn’t try to account for how the race could change going forward — for instance, which candidates would benefit from another candidate dropping out.
Our model uses three key variables that, in Putnam’s analysis, best explain the outcomes so far — nonwhite population, recent presidential vote, and whether a state is in a region we’ve dubbed the “Interior West” — to project the results in upcoming states and congressional districts, and therefore the overall delegate count. You can check out a longer explanation of our methodology here and an even more detailed one at Frontloading HQ; see state-by-state projections below.