There isn’t a way to sugar coat it: things look good for Trump in New York. He leads in all 27 of New York’s congressional districts, and it just gets better for him from there.
But before we get into the specifics of the poll, it’s important to understand the rules of delegate allocation in New York (fun, right?). In New York there are 14 delegates awarded at a statewide level, 11 of which are truly at-large and 3 that come from the RNC, but would behave as at-large delegates at the convention. 81 delegates are awarded at a congressional district level (3 from each of its 27 districts). The statewide delegates are awarded proportionally among candidates who meet the 20% vote threshold, unless a candidate receives more than 50% of the total vote, in which case that candidate would win all 11 delegates. It’s a similar story when looking at the delegates awarded on a congressional district level: the first place finisher goes home with two delegates and second place with one, unless someone (yes, Trump) hits 50%, and then is given all three.
If we direct our attention to the figure above, we can see that statewide he is also polling at 49%, so whether he’s able to take the statewide delegates by “winner-take-all” rules outright is up in the air. The even better news for Trump is that he’s hitting the 50% threshold in 11/27 districts and is within three percentage points of six more (see figure below). Just by keeping 50% in those 11 districts and a plurality in the others, Trump would get 65 delegates.
Further, if we look at shifts between the opinion shares we observed this week (4.11-4.13) and compare them to our last poll (3.22-3.24), we don’t see monumental moves against Trump across numerous districts (see figure below). We do note a generally favorable Kasich trend of between 2 and 6 points in most districts. While this is generally good, these shifts are unlikely to change the order of results, and thus unlikely to shift all-important delegate totals on Election Day. In other words, while we believe Kasich appears to be making some progress in many districts, it is not enough to change delegate totals significantly.
It’s important to note though that there are 14% of likely voters who remain undecided. While there’s no perfect way to know where undecided voters will go on Election Day, to get an idea, we asked a “push” question, where undecided voters were asked who they would vote for if they were currently in the voting booth. While close to 60% remain undecided, Trump picks up 17%, Kasich 15%, and Cruz 9%. With that proportion of undecided voters leaning toward him, Trump should have little trouble hitting the 50% threshold and picking up all 14 statewide delegates. For those keeping score at home, that’s a total of 79 delegates. Again, by no means are we forecasting a ‘lock’ then for Trump to win New York. We are simply saying if we had to guess, the evidence we have available today suggests we will not see lopsided shifting of undecideds against Trump, which favors Trump given his proximity to the 50% line statewide.
Overall, April 19th looks like it will be a good day for Trump, and if undecideds break along the lines that push respondents are indicated, it may well be a very good day for Trump.
Analysis derived from poll taken 4.11.16 – 4.14.16. Full Results and Methodology.