AddThis Share1Rice UniversityOffice of Public Affairs / News & Media RelationsDavid [email protected] [email protected] political expert available to discuss crucial primaries in NortheastHOUSTON – (April 18, 2016) – With crucial Northeast primaries looming for presidential candidates in both parties, Rice University political scientist Mark Jones is available to comment on what the April 19 contest in New York and the April 26 contests in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island mean for the 2016 presidential candidates.Mark Jones“The April 19 and 26 primaries are crucial for Donald Trump,” Jones said. “They represent an opportunity for Trump to throttle back some of the positive momentum Ted Cruz achieved coming up off his victory in Wisconsin at the start of the month and subsequent procedural victories that netted him delegates in other states.”Jones said that if Trump is very successful in these contests taking place across the Northeast – favorable terrain for Trump – during the latter half of April, his hopes will be raised of arriving at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland with an absolute majority (at least 1,237) of delegates committed to vote for him. In contrast, if Trump performs less well then expected, for instance failing to win more than 50 percent of the vote statewide in New York or across most of its 27 congressional districts, his hopes of reaching the 1,237 threshold will be severely diminished, if not dashed.Jones also noted that John Kasich’s presence on the ballot will in some instances help bring about a Trump victory by splitting a majority anti-Trump vote at the state and/or congressional district level.“Kasich’s continued candidacy will in these contests (but not those in May and in June) on average aid broader Republican efforts to keep Trump as far away from 1,237 delegates as possible, especially if in New York Trump fails to win an absolute majority of the vote statewide and in most congressional districts,” Jones said. This would mean that instead of Trump winning all of New York’s 95 delegates, he would likely end up winning closer to 60 to 65.”On the Democratic side, Jones said that Hillary Clinton is expected to widen her delegate lead over Bernie Sanders during the final half of April, and in doing so will further consolidate her position as the Democratic Party’s de facto presidential nominee.Jones is a leading expert on Texas politics. He has been quoted nationally about Cruz’s political career, which he has followed extensively since Cruz’s days as solicitor general of Texas to the launching of a long-shot U.S. Senate bid to today. To speak with Jones, contact him directly at 832-466-6535.-30-This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu.Follow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.Jones in the news:Fox 26: Analysts say Cruz poised to capture nomination at convention after Wisconsin winBloomberg Politics: Surging Cruz is Big Oil’s new crush as donors cool to BushLa Voz: Comienza la votación anticipada y podría decidir las primarias en Texas antes del Súper MartesRelated materials:Mark Jones biography: http://bakerinstitute.org/experts/mark-p-jones/Mark Jones Twitter handle: @MarkPJonesTXMark Jones headshot: http://news.rice.edu/files/2014/09/mark-jones.jpgPhoto credit: Rice University.Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for best quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/AboutRiceUniversity.