‘Harsh Realities’: MSNBC Data Guru Lays Out Daunting Delegate Math For Haley


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MSNBC national political correspondent Steve Kornacki said Tuesday former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley faces “harsh realities” about delegates in the Super Tuesday primaries.

Former President Donald Trump currently leads in the delegate count with 273 while Haley has 43, according to The Associated Press. Kornacki noted that while Haley could do well in a few of the 15 states holding Republican presidential primaries on Tuesday, she could fall short in other states with larger delegate totals. (RELATED: Trump Hits Serious Note, Tells Laura Ingraham He Won’t ‘Smile’ Because Country Is ‘Dying’)

“If Nikki Haley is going to make some noise tonight, where would it be? Where would we look? So, the first polls to close actually, there’s two states here that could be quite friendly to her,” Kornacki told MSNBC host Chris Jansing. “One is Vermont, it’s actually basically a winner take all state. If you get the majority of the vote in Vermont, you get all 17 delegates. Vermont was not a good state for Donald Trump in the 2016 Republican primaries. Here, you’re taking a look at the results here. Trump only got 32.5% in Vermont, barely beat John Kasich. This was one of Trump’s worst showings in 2016. There’s no party registration in Vermont, independents, Democrats, if you think of yourself as one of those, you can vote in this Republican primary. So right away, that could be a target for Nikki Haley.”


“Also closing at 7:00 tonight, take a look in Virginia, and again you look at the 2016 results in Virginia, Trump won this state, but that was an underwhelming performance for Donald Trump relative to what we saw in other states,” Kornacki continued. “The particular area of trouble for Donald Trump in Virginia, you’re gonna see this population dense Washington, D.C. suburbs of northern Virginia. They do give out some delegates in Virginia that are based on the congressional district result. There’s three delegates right in that northern Virginia, D.C. area, three districts there where I think Nikki Haley could certainly win and could collect some delegates tonight.”

Kornacki then turned to where Haley would have trouble picking up delegates, including in California and Texas, the two largest prizes from the Super Tuesday primaries. Haley trails Trump by 64 points nationally, according to the RealClearPolling average.

“The problem for her is, though, even if she has success, some kind of success in the states I outlined, she’s looking at California, this is a closed primary. No independents, no Democrats. It is a winner take all primary, 50% plus 1 take all the delegates, there’s 169,” Kornacki said. “Can Donald Trump get a simple majority in a closed primary? All the evidence suggests he can. Texas, 161 delegates. Again, very conservative electorate, very Trump-friendly demographics. The rules that make this not quite, but close to a winner take all state, that’s more than 300 delegates between those states and unless Haley is pulling the rabbit out of the hat, Trump is getting the overwhelming share of those 300 plus delegates.”

“Just by winning in the states I’ve outlined here for Donald Trump, he stands to get a massive, massive delegate haul and by getting some of the delegates in Colorado, some in Minnesota, some in Virginia, some in Vermont, that’s not going to get Haley very far, just in terms of the math,” Kornacki added.

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