US Elections Editor

Hello, I'm Will Jordan and welcome to The Pulse.

It was fun while it lasted. Here are some things you should know while New Yorkers go to the polls:

  1. Where do things stand now?

    For the Democrats: As it stands, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders in delegates by 1,781 to 1,139 counting superdelegates, and 1,305 to 1,099 counting only pledged delegates. 2,383 are needed to win the nomination.

    For the Republicans: Donald Trump has 758, Cruz 543 and Kasich 144. They need 1,237.

  2. Wait, has anything changed?

    Yes! While there have been no primaries or caucuses since last week, the Wyoming GOP held their convention and awarded its 14 remaining delegates. All of them went to Ted Cruz. If this sounds familiar, it’s because the same exact thing happened in Colorado the week before. Sanders has also picked up a delegate or two from state conventions. But the changes there are much smaller.

  3. Have things in New York changed?

    No. At least not according to the polls, which have been consistently consistent despite the turnstile dramas and pizza controversies that have punctuated the primaries on either side. In YouGov’s latest poll with CBS News, Clinton leads Sanders by 10 points, identical to 2 weeks before. Trump leads by 33, up from 31.

  4. What would a 33-point lead in New York mean for Trump?

    The important number for Trump is 50%. Currently, according to both YouGov and the polling average, Trump is at 54% in New York. Kasich and Cruz are both hovering around the 20% mark. 

    New York allocates 14 of its 95 delegates according to the statewide result, and a candidate who gets 50% of the vote gets all 14. If no candidate gets 50%, then the delegates are distributed proportionally, excluding any candidate who gets less than 20%. The remaining 81 delegates are bound to the results within each of the state’s 27 congressional districts (3 delegates per CD), using the same 20% and 50% rules.  Assuming Trump reaches 50%, statewide, how much he gets of the remaining 81 will depend on how evenly it is distributed across the state. He’s unlikely to win them all, but say he wins 85 delegates – he would need around 57% of the remaining delegates to reach 1,237.

  5. What would a 10-point lead mean for Hillary Clinton?

    For the Democratic Party, 84 of 247 pledged New York delegates go out based on the statewide result, while the remaining 163 are given out based on the results in congressional districts. Assuming the distribution is relatively even, Clinton would add about 20-30 delegates to her 200-odd delegate lead over Bernie Sanders.  To win a majority of pledged delegates – putting aside superdelegates altogether – he would need to win about 59% of those that remain.

    The Sanders campaign has started walking back previous predictions that he would win New York, or that he needed to. This is spin. Besides the need for delegates, the loss likely means he has failed to win over certain groups like registered Democrats, women African-Americans and Latinos – groups he’ll probably need to compete in big upcoming states like Pennsylvania, Maryland and California.

  6. Something else: Democrats in disarray?

    In the YouGov/Economist poll, Hillary Clinton supporters continue to have fairly positive opinions of Bernie Sanders, but the feeling is no longer reciprocated among Sanders supporters. However, the Democratic race continues to look tame in comparison to the GOP race: Trump supporters view both Kasich and Cruz unfavorably, and their supporters feel the same about Trump. 62% of Trump supporters predict violence at the Republican convention if their candidate does not win (Trump recently said of the convention: “I hope it doesn’t involve violence,” so there's that), and only 39% of Republicans think the long primary has been good for the party (compared to 65% for Democrats).

Follow me for constant updates on the race, and other good stuff too.

The Pulse is a weekly newsletter YouGov has launched ahead of the 2016 primaries and general election to give readers a one-stop-shop for the latest polling-related news from the campaign. In addition to YouGov’s own extensive coverage of the election, The Pulse gives you the five things you need to know about the state of the campaign each week (and one you don't need to know but we think is worth knowing anyway!). 

Related Content