On Fox News Channel's "Special Report Online" Wednesday afternoon, analyst Stephen Hayes explains the role that unbound delegates could play in bumping Trump over the top if he comes up just short of a majority of 1,237 delegates.
STEPHEN HAYES, WEEKLY STANDARD: What is sort of being overlooked here is the question of unbound delegates. I think that is the whole ball of wax, whether you come up with the 538 number of 1150 and change, I do it on the New York Times delegate calculator. I get between 1175 and 1200.
It seems reasonably clear or likely that Donald Trump will come up short, the question is how short will he be? And the shorter he is, the more important those unbound delegates become.
BRET BAIER: If you look at Pennsylvania coming up after New York, there are 54 unbound delegates in PA, so somebody could win Pennsylvania and they get 17, but 54 of them are still unbound, 54 on top of the 17 are unbound ahead of the convention, and they could go to Trump.
HAYES: In most cases unbound delegates would go towards a more established candidate, but in PA according to some very good reporting done by Selena Zito and a colleague of hers at the Pittsburgh Tribune review. They have reached out to these delegates or people running to become delegates and asked them, how will you vote? I think roughly three out of four in that ballpark said they will vote the way their district votes.
IF that's the case, and Trump has a great night [in PA], you could have a situation where well over half of those unbound delegates go to Trump.
And they wouldn't be counted in the types of calculations that we're doing now about bound delegates.
So if Trump gets to 1158, but we're not counting unbound delegates, that gives him a bump.