FiveThirtyEight: Trump and Sanders' paths to the nomination

Dave Wasserman and Jody Avirgan examine the delegate targets for the top presidential contenders.
6:56 | 06/21/18

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Transcript for FiveThirtyEight: Trump and Sanders' paths to the nomination
We're gonna Disco period it's delegate tracker that you helped build along with our colleague Aaron bike off. Which kind of answers this question that we see in front of us who is on track. For the nomination so let's let's just dive right in and look at this tool together and hopefully give people sense of how they can play with it how to how to read and support. The first thing I noticed is that we have something called. Current 538 targets that's this little red line. That we see so what do what do we mean when we talk about candidates' delegate target. A lot of news outlets out there have delegate counts they'll they'll say who's at at at what number of delegates at the current time. But where we had value is in. Estimating each candidate's unique path to the nomination so here we're looking out a path forward Donald Trump but just for any candidate in general kind of what do we mean when we say they're packed. So every candidate's path to nomination is different right now Donald Trump is ahead of where he needs me for the nomination. But he can easily be knocked off track if marker Rick rubio wins Florida if John Casey wins Ohio. So what things you need you know we encourage you look at it. This path like you just described in the big jumps in the blockbuster days but that also this sort of. You know colored in GAAP. And whether that gap I guess is getting. Bigger or smaller over time because that gives you a sense of how on track when they're falling behind the pace that they set themselves center. So here's Ted Cruz and yes he is consistently in the red under is targets. But. Percentage of target you know as we think of crude maybe coming out stronger has shifted right so tell me what needs to happen for him on March 15 to comment. Shorten that about a red if not move into the green. What we can say is that if Cruz is at least keeping up there let's say you know 69. Or 75% of his target. Then he is close to two to what he needs. But maybe not near what you know what what he can do to get back on track for the nomination now keep in mind. These are predictions and that's an important point to underscore. These are estimates of what each candidate would need to get to get 50% plus one of the delicate. So I mean at this point in time. If we think of 1237 as the big target. How many of the Republican candidate actually have just straightforward path to clearing that bar before the convention. On this point only Donald Trump has a chance. To get to 1237. Delegates the kind of third feature in this tracker is down here we have a table that also listed a different way of kind of showing who is. Performing or underperforming are over performing their targets it gives you a great sense of the dips and surges. Are the candidates. And so for example if you look at Donald Trump's column on the left here you can see in green the states where he exceeded are met his delicate targets and in early phase of the campaign New Hampshire South Carolina and Nevada he really was picking up a lot of steam that led into Super Tuesday when in the majority of states. He hit what he needed to do to be on track. Now you saw that dip a little bit on March 5. Wearing Kansas for example you'll ill only 19 out of sixteen Kentucky seventeen at 21 Louisiana eighteen out of 23. In fact that's when we started seeing Ted crews doing a little bit better. Getting closer to his targets in fact. On March 5 and after he's hit his targets in three states. Whereas. Marco Rubio has just been kind of just rhetoric rarely Martin this has been going downhill. So fast I mean I think you can call to free fall. Now we look at the democratic side we'll just point out that you can flip over here and look at Democrats as well and then if we look at Bernie Sanders however state that work for him. Kind of aligned differently than there for Clinton. We expect Bernie Sanders to do really well in states with lower. Nonwhite populations that higher shares of young and liberal and working class Democrats up Michigan was really the first sign though that Bernie Sanders. Can exceed his share of the vote. Among non white Democrats so let's talk about that Michigan result which I think was a surprise to a lot of people as persons the polling showed that Hillary Clinton was gonna win comfortably in Bernie Sanders and that up winning so we look at. Bernie Sanders relationship with what we call his target. He was at 86%. His targets of below his target by 14%. And then after the results yesterday still at 86 puts a hit this big win but why isn't that gap to his target shortening. We'll part of the reason is all the attention was on Michigan right this is a huge upset for Bernie Sanders something that he badly needed is as coming B twelve shot for his campaign. But. Mississippi also voted on the same day and because Mississippi was expected to be such a large Clinton when it didn't really get as much attention. Well Hillary Clinton actually exceeded hurt her estimated delicate target in Mississippi by nine delegates real kind of. Impact the Michigan August is going to be. That it may change the trajectory of this line in terms of the way voters are going to make that decision right so what's the like. Bernie pat gonna have to look like. In the next big round which is the fifteenth. In order for us to say okay he's really kind of back towards on trap. Well he would needs demolish Hillary Clinton to get back on track because he's done. So badly so far relative to to his target for twenty trees to. He can't afford draws in the industrial midwest he's got to prove that he can win substantial delegate margins in the midwest to have any chance of moving on. In the calendar all the way to California where you know hypothetically could he could you see a huge Bernie Sanders. Win at the end in California that evens things back back up like Estes possible. But he would need to be building that momentum all the way through and remember back in February New Hampshire us must be real oh crap moment for Hillary Clinton's campaign right. But even on February 9. Both she and Bernie Sanders hit. The target that we estimated that they needed to in New Hampshire in fact she. Exceeded her target by quite a lot in states like Georgia Alabama. Tennessee tax this but since then. It's been a little bit of a closer campaign so. Is this a sign that the democratic race is becoming more competitive for what will we see. It add back towards Hillary Clinton in the coming weeks. Okay Dave Foster and thanks for I had. Walking us through the delegate tracker Edmunds and that's math and we should encourage people to go on to the website and play with it and sort of tells with a fine geek out have a great time.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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