New Jersey poised to decide if Trump wins the GOP nomination

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

The final vote tallies are still being tabulated, Save Jerseyans, but any way you slice it Donald Trump still had a yuuuge (sigh) night on Tuesday.

1,237 delegates by the July convention good?

The only honest answer: we still don’t know, and we might NOT know until New Jersey (yes, New Jersey) votes on June 7th.

christie trumpLet’s walk through what we do know. For starters, Trump won around 40.3% (as of now) of the vote, on average, in the jurisdictions that cast GOP primary ballots on Tuesday representing an improvement from his 34.6% average from Super Tuesday back on March 1st. A solid plurality to be sure in what was a four man race before Rubio dropped out after taking it on the chin in his home base of Florida, but as head-to-head general election polls and personal popularity polling continues to show, the Donald is winning delegates but not necessarily the hearts of voters he’ll need to triumph over Hilldawg in November. The GOP continues to be badly decided with 60%-ish or more of Republican voters consistently voting for someone who isn’t an abrasive populist real estate marketing mogul with a bad tan and a disdain for details.

The bottom line? Notwithstanding large-scale and sustained #NeverTrump opposition, he’s likely at about 699 delegates as of this morning. More than half of the way there. We still need to see how a few more counts (notably Missouri) end up but a sizable delegate lead – 278 over Ted Cruz – is unambiguously good news for Trumpies.

The bad news for Trumpies is getting a whole lot less attention from a media hungry for the carnival-like atmosphere of a ratings-rich Trump vs. Clinton showdown.

Trump’s 699 delegates represent only about 47% of delegates awarded to date. By my math, in order to win on the first ballot in Cleveland, he’ll need to win something like 54% or better of remaining delegates in play. Momentum could trump math soon enough but 54%+ might be harder to do than you’d think with the front runner under-performing in the American West (where many voters still need to weigh in) and facing a partially-consolidated conservative opposition now that Marco Rubio is out and likely to endorse Ted Cruz. Donald Trump still hasn’t hit 50% or better in these contests (49.3% in Massachusetts was high high water mark) and he’s falling far short in most. Does Kasich give Trump trouble in the Midwest (e.g. Wisconsin) like he did in Ohio?

nj 2009 mapIt’s also definitely worth considering that Cruz would’ve beaten Trump in at least two states last night – Missouri and North Carolina – if it had been a one-on-one race. Will we ever get to that point after Kasich’s Ohio stand?

This is where the Garden State comes in. For the reasons meticulously laid our for you above, Donald Trump MAY need to big wins in the proportional state of New York (April 19th) and winner-take-all New Jersey (June 7th) contest, and even big wins in his own backyard might not be enough to win on the first ballot, by the way, if he continues at his current pace.

What’s clear is that New Jersey’s 51 delegates are now officially far more likely than not to be strongly contested come the spring.

All the signs are there. I’m told Governor Christie’s lieutenants are already recruiting field operatives for the Trump campaign inside the Garden State. They can count just the same as we can, folks. You heard it here first: with Trump polling very well here, and having already won the Atlantic and Mercer county GOP endorsements, don’t be surprised to see Trump get put over the top by Christie’s home state notwithstanding the Governor’s own deep unpopularity. At the risk of sounding conspiratorial, maybe that’s why the Donald is trashing his chief endorser? To shore up his N.J. polling position?

If it plays out that way, Chris Christie will then – not without an ironic tinge – be able to claim having done more to help Trump than anyone else in the Republican Party; arresting Marco Rubio’s momentum in New Hampshire will look to have been only an appetizer.

If Trump doesn’t clinch? Either through losing N.J. or some combination of other mathematical setbacks?

Any theory pertaining to how Cleveland will end up is pure speculation.

“If we don’t have a nominee who can win on the first ballot, I’m for none of the above,” former Speaker John Boehner reportedly told Politico. “They all had a chance to win. None of them won. So I’m for none of the above. I’m for Paul Ryan to be our nominee.” The former speaker endorsing the current speaker is news even if you hate them both. They’re not alone either at least in their desire for consensus conclusion. At least 36% of your fellow Republicans tell pollsters they’re firmly #NeverTrump. We won’t beat Hilldawg with that many defections.

The ball’s (likely) in your court, Garden State. Choose wisely.


Matt Rooney
About Matt Rooney 8495 Articles
MATT ROONEY is's founder and editor-in-chief, a practicing New Jersey attorney, and the host of 'The Matt Rooney Show' on 1210 WPHT every Sunday evening from 7-10PM EST.


  1. Can’t wait til he becomes President and sends the neo-liberal open borders free-trade “experts” packing! He will crush in NJ. The only thing that will stop him from being President is Republicans who think the President should be a human version of a National Review issue staying home and sulking. Because Hillary will give you the judges and entitlement reform you all want.

  2. Rest easy, Charlie. The G0Pe will never – EVER – allow an odious populist buffoon like Trump to destroy their meal ticket. They will sooner surrender to Hillary and the Dems than ever let Trump OR Cruz become the nominee.

    Prediction: there will be a brokered convention in Cleveland. Jeb! or some other suitable RINO mannequin, will be chosen and Paul Ryan or some other suitable RINO crash test dummy will be his running mate.

    Trump will go third party.

    Hillary will be elected president.

  3. Please go back to bed – and be sure the covers are snugly tucked over your head to ensure that you smother to death.

  4. So the facts show Trump is raciest, he is a male pig, he has called Americans stupid, put down the entire female population, erasing so many years of fighting for equality, and puts down the Democratic Party to the faces of voters, when asked if his supporters believe in his words they responded YES and after find out they were reading from Adolf Hitlers speeches many said that if Trump agrees so do they, he basically got rich by
    Not paying unions workers and going bankrupt many times and yet people still want so bad to believe in anything other than Obama they would vote for Trump is just appalling. What will happen when WWar 3 starts. No changing your vote then. Please I know everyone really wants someone to believe in but just read the facts and make an honest choice. Don’t just follow the leader. Our lives and the lives of our children and grandkids depend on your vote. WE can’t afford to make a mistake again. No need to comment with hate just think about it.



    Someone suggested that recently I have been negative in my posts, so let’s be positive focusing on what BERNIE SANDERS can achieve and others can’t.

    1 – Unify the American people. He is the most trustworthy person in Washington. He brought out crowds of new voters in a country where only 40% of the population votes. This means new hope and willingness to be involved in the political process which means more Democrats in the Congress, as governors and mayors.

    2 – Anti-corruption campaign. Money must get back in the pockets of the middle class. Bankers in jail like in Iceland and they bail out us not us them anymore

    Increase individual taxation of 5% for the middle class and by 25% to millionaires and cutting by 10-15-200% private taxes. No more debts, no more bankruptcy for care and operations, no more drop outs high school and college students.

    4 – Improving small business as nobody else can do.
    Owners do not have to pay anymore for health care. THIS DROPS A HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY! Health care and benefits are guaranteed by the federal government as in any other industrialized country in the world. They got incentives to hire people. This is good especially for minority entrepreneurs, for trading and for hiring.

    5 – Education and health care as a right. You study and work but put money aside not paying the interests for loans. With the current system you have to work as if you were in prison to zero out the loan and you have to pay for the crime to get education.

    6 – Alternative energy now. No stupid transitions anymore. Germany has 60% of energy from solar with only 6000 hours of sun, the United States has 60000 hours of sun. Denmark 140% energy in wind. Paris regulation to put plants and solar panels on the roof, Italy wind turbines in the highway aqueducts. Even if America is now fracking more and discovering oil and gas the workers are paid and treated like coal miners. This has an impact on water and air (see Flint, Oklahoma, …). Renewable energy workers are treated more as Silicon Valley workers.

    7 – Demilitarization of the Police, community oriented. Police officers who look like tge people they protect. Re-training of the Police officers.

    8 – Investments in the low income communities (free education starting from pre-k, paid maternity leave, paid holidays and sick days), remove people from the streets, universal health care.

    9 – Criminal system reform. America as more people in jail who lost the right to vote for Marijuana possession than any country in the world. He is against capital punishment which only countries like China, Iran, Saudi Arabia or Russia have today. Scandinavian prisons are islands with a criminal rate of 3%.

    10 – Addiction treated as a health issue not a criminal issue.

    11 – Foreign policies based on diplomacy. Reduce the military budget and reuse that money to improve veteran health care and economic issues. Investment in Home land security..

    12 – Medical and scientific research.

    13 – Immigration reform. Reunite families not devide them. American maybe don’t know that opposite of what some people think, America needs approximately 20-25 million more immigrants to stimulate economy. We are talking any job level not only low income jobs. The entrepreneurship of this country is so high and the population density is so low that 300 M people are not enough to make this country go.

    14 – Sanders is absolutely right mentioning Denmark and Germany. The population density of these countries is extremely high with high productivity and high wages and salaries (I know by experience having lived 44 years in Western Europe). Denmark has more population than 22 states in America, Netherlands has more population than Ohio or Pennsylvania, Texas has half population than France, Italy, UK and Spain, California has half population of Germany.

    15 – Wall Street and corporations must pay higher taxes for speculations, fiscal evasion in Cayman Islands, cut the CEOS salaries to maximum 20-30 times more than employees but no more 400-1000 times more.

    16 – President Obama is an essential charismatic man, beloved worldwide and he showed the world that “yes we can” come back from the Republican he’ll and rebuild … Senator Bernie Sanders is an essential charismatic man, beloved by the millennials who is showing that “yes we will” build up a new society.

    Note: for those people who still live in 1960 and the cold war, there was a Western Europe and an Eastern Europe and the United States of America

    Eastern Europe was Socialism without capitalism = Communism

    The United States is becoming more and more Capitalism without Socialism = Fascism (Trump, Cruz, …).

    Western Europe has always been Socialism for basic services (education, health care, transportation, military, ….) and Capitalism for your job choices and when you grow up = Democratic Socialism

    I lived in Paris, London, Rome and worked for Scandinavian companies for 44 years and 15 years in New York with dual citizenship. I moved to the United States for choice not because I needed. I paid $250/y for college, $15 for an operation, worked for private companies with good salaries and benefits, speak 4 languages and …. I had my American dream there.

    It’s about time you get your American dream here.

  6. Patrick means ” make America white again ” or ” slave all the colored people ” or ” only white lives matter ” or ” build a wall to block everyone including Canada ” or ” let’s get rid of them all and anyone not with us, Mark them ” or ” pray the gay away ” or ” less education, less taxes, let’s go bankrupt ” ….. I can go on and on.. there is no way in HELL that drumpf would make this country again.

  7. Trump will definately not get my vote he is totally unqualified to be President and dosen’t have the right temperment — I will vote for Kasich he is my first choice and Cruz second.

  8. Are you people on crack?? It’s mathematically IMPOSSIBLE (look up the word) for Kasich to reach 1247. GEESH. New Jersey state PBA has endorsed trump also. That’s a lot of votes in a lot of counties. TRUMP 2016

  9. No way Chris Christie should be vice president……and its not up to NJ either……Chrispy is following Trump like a little puppy and wants to be “important” but not happening….He also endorsed him because he knows NJ is voting for Trump…..

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