In each of Illinois’s 18 congressional districts on Tuesday night, voters were asked to elect three delegates to the national convention. Those delegates are tied to particular candidates; in the 1st district, for example, Michael Burke, a delegate for Donald Trump, won the most votes. Trump appears to have won 38 of the 54 delegates allocated in this manner, though the results in each district haven't yet been finalized.
And he probably could have won more. FiveThirtyEight's Dave Wasserman noted something interesting about the results as he was skimming them early Wednesday morning.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) March 16, 2016
Here's an example of what Wasserman spotted.
In Illinois's 6th District, the top two vote-getters were Trump delegates. Paul Minch received 35,435 votes and Barbara Kois, who came in second, got 35,120 votes. One would think that Trump supporters would vote the Trump slate of delegates. Kois trailed, but only by about 315 votes.
Then there was Trump’s third delegate, Nabi Fakroddin. Fakroddin came in sixth, with 30,639 votes. That's a drop-off of nearly 5,000 votes, a drop-off of more than 13 percent from the winner, Minch. Instead of winning all three delegates in the 6th, Trump won two because of Fakroddin's poor showing. This opened up a slot for John Kasich to steal away that third delegate.
We don’t live in the district, so we can’t say that there was some other reason that Fakroddin fared worse than the top two. But we can look at other districts that suggest it was Fakroddin’s name that played a role.
In the 13th district, Trump had another prospective delegate named Raja Sadiq. In that district, the winner was Doug Hartmann, a Trump delegate who got 31,937 votes. Slots two through four went to Cruz delegates. In fifth place was another Trump delegate, Toni Gauen, who had 3,600 fewer votes than Hartmann. Sadiq came in sixth — nearly 8,000 votes behind Hartmann — and another 4,000 behind Gauen. Sadiq got nearly 25 percent fewer votes than Hartmann.
It's not clear whether Sadiq and Fakroddin would have suffered the same fate had they been delegates for candidates who hadn’t espoused a harshly anti-Muslim position. There don’t appear to have been other candidates with Arabic-sounding names across the 18 districts, making it hard to compare.
What we can say is that two-thirds of Republican voters in the state support Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the country, according to preliminary exit polls reported by CNN. Of that group, about half supported Trump. That alone was nearly enough to give Trump victory in the state.