Presidential races

Trump’s Tuesday wins shatter ‘ceiling’ of support

Donald Trump’s thumping victories in five Northeastern states Tuesday night shattered conventional wisdom that he has a “ceiling” of some 35 percent support among Republican primary voters.

{mosads}Early returns indicate Trump will secure close to or more than 60 percent of the statewide vote in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island, according to The Associated Press. 

Trump is also projected to win with about 54 percent in Maryland, and his margins were large enough that soon after polls closed major networks declared the GOP presidential front-runner the winner in all of the states voting Tuesday night.

While Trump’s victories were expected in all five states, the size of his victory margins are stunning. 

Trump appears to have outperformed his polls by double digits in several states — reversing a trend earlier in the primary season when the billionaire front-runner tended to underperform his polling in primaries and caucuses.

In the three states with decent polling leading into Tuesday night’s primaries — Pennsylvania, Maryland and Connecticut — Trump was expected to win with about 50 percent of the vote, according to the RealClearPolitics polling averages.

And as recently as two weeks ago, the conventional wisdom among beltway pundits was that Trump had a “ceiling” of between 35 percent and 38 percent of the Republican primary vote. 

The commonly espoused view by analysts was that the billionaire was too divisive to expand his appeal, and if the Never Trump forces could act strategically with the remaining two candidates, John Kasich and Ted Cruz, colluding, then Trump would lose.

That conventional wisdom began to shatter with Trump exceeding expectations in his home state of New York. And the argument becomes more difficult to make after Tuesday night.

Even perfect collusion between Kasich and Cruz wouldn’t have worked in Tuesday night’s primaries. Early returns indicate that the combined Kasich-Cruz vote wouldn’t have beaten Trump’s totals in any of the five Atlantic states.

Tags Donald Trump Ted Cruz

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