35 Percent Of Americans Are At Least 180 Days Past Due

Many of us have found the last eight years to be very tough financially – I had a record year in my business 7 years ago. The following year, things started to slow down and things have been tougher each year since then.  After a major health crisis last year which quite literally decimated my small business – I’ve had to struggle to keep even more than normal to pay every bill. Its truly crazy to have to struggle so much and I’m very aware that I’m not alone in this struggle. The statistics in the following article were definitely eye opening and I had to share it. Please take a few minutes to read it – I’ve been watching the election coverage and the rallies. The idea of creating jobs, rebuilding a strong America and finally increasing our economy is music to my ears —

Drowning In Debt: 35 Percent Of All Americans Have Debt That Is At Least 180 Days Past Due

More than a third of all Americans can’t pay their debts.  I don’t know about you, but to me that is a shocking figure.  As you will see below, 35 percent of the people living in this country have debt in collections.  When a debt is in  collections, it is at least 180 days past due.  And this is happening during the “economic recovery” that the mainstream media keeps touting, although the truth is that Barack Obama is going to be the only president in United States history to never have a single year when the economy grew by at least 3 percent.  But at least things are fairly stable for the moment, and if this many Americans are having trouble paying their bills right now, what are things going to look like when the economy becomes extremely unstable once again.

The 35 percent figure is a nugget that I discovered in a CNN article about Detroit that I was reading earlier today

And the city’s troubles have left a mark on the financial stability of its residents in a big way, according to a new report from the Urban Institute.

About 66% of residents have debt in collections — meaning more than 180 days past due — at a median amount of $1,847. Across the U.S., 35% of Americans have debt in collections.

It is hard to believe that 66 percent of the residents of one of our largest cities could have debt in collections, but without a doubt the city of Detroit is a complete and utter economic wasteland at this point.

But to me, the 35 percent figure for the nation as a whole is a much greater concern.

And much of the debt that is in collections is credit card debt.

In the immediate aftermath of the last financial crisis, many Americans started getting out of debt, and that was a very good thing.

Unfortunately, that trend has completely reversed itself over the past few years, and now credit card balances are rising at a pace that is quite alarming

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve, ValuePenguin found that the average credit card debt for households that carry a balance is a shocking $16,048 — a figure that has risen by 10% over the past three years. At the average variable credit card interest rate of 16.1%, this translates to nearly $2,600 in credit card interest alone. And many credit cards have interest rates much higher than the average.

Even scarier, consider that based on the average interest rate and a minimum payment of 1.5% of the balance, it would take nearly 14 years for the typical indebted household to pay off its existing credit card debt, at a staggering cost of more than $40,200. Keep in mind that this assumes no additional credit card debt is added to the tab along the way.

Those that have been there know exactly how it feels to be drowning in credit card debt.

You know, they don’t teach you about credit cards in high school or in college.  At least they didn’t in my day.  So once I got out into the “real world” and discovered the joy of instantly getting whatever I wanted with a credit card, I didn’t understand how painful it would be to pay that money back someday.

If you have credit card balances that are out of control, they can keep you up late into the night.  The worry and the fear can eat away at you like a cancer, and many people play a game of moving balances from one card to another in a desperate attempt to stay afloat.

Fortunately I learned my hard lessons at an early enough age to get things turned around.  Now I warn others about the danger of credit card debt through my writing, and my hope is that the things that I share on my websites are doing some good for others that may be struggling financially.

When you are deep in debt, it is exceedingly difficult to build up any wealth of your own.  This is one of the primary reasons why 69 percent of all Americans have less than $1,000 in savings today.

In essence, more than two-thirds of the country is living paycheck to paycheck, and that is a recipe for disaster when the next major economic downturn in the U.S. strikes.

Overall, household debt in America has now reached a grand total of 12.3 trillion dollars.  When you break that down, it comes to $38,557 for every man, woman and child in the entire nation.

So for a family of five, your share of that total would be $192,785.

And remember, that is just household debt.  That total does not include any form of business debt or any form of government debt.

We truly are a “buy now, pay later” society.  We were the wealthiest and most prosperous nation on the entire planet, and previous generations handed us the keys to the greatest economic machine in world history, but that wasn’t good enough for us.

We always had to have more, more, more – and now we have accumulated more debt than any society in the history of the globe.

It is inevitable that this giant debt bubble is going to burst.  Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that.

What we experienced in 2008 was just a preview of the hard times that are coming.  The next recession is going to be even worse, and most economists are convinced that it will happen within the next four years no matter who is elected president in November.  The following comes from the Wall Street Journal via the Calculated Risk blog

Economists in The Wall Street Journal’s latest monthly survey of economists put the odds of the next downturn happening within the next four years at nearly 60%.

Just like the last time around, millions of those that are “living on the edge” financially will fall out of the middle class and into poverty when they lose their jobs.

Hopefully most of you that have been reading my work for an extended period of time have already been getting out of debt and have been building up a financial cushion.

Sadly, most of the country continues to act as if they are living in a pre-2008 world, and the economic wake up call that is coming is going to be incredibly painful for those that thought they could get away with being exceedingly reckless financially.

Originally posted on the Economic Collapse Blog – http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/drowning-in-debt-35-percent-of-all-americans-have-debt-that-is-at-least-180-days-past-due

Trump – What Difference Can One Person Make


With all the distractions being thrown out in the 2016 presidential campaign, I spotted this copy and paste in the comment section of a friend’s Facebook page and I had to share. It makes a lot of great points. Hateful comments will be deleted.


“Last night a friend claimed that Donald Trump wouldn’t make a good president; he is brash, he is racist, he is a loudmouth; you know the normal things people learn to recite after being programmed by television news. The one I loved was that, “Trump is arrogant.” My friend questioned if one man could make “that much difference in the world today.” To my friend’s credit, she was respectful enough to let me respond when she asked, “Really, what has Trump done?”

I said, “In June of last year, Trump entered the race for president. In just a little over a year, Trump has single handedly defeated the Republican party. He did so thoroughly. In fact, he did so in such a resounding way that the Republican Party now suffers from an identity crisis. He literally dismantled the party. Trump even dismantled and dismissed the brand and value of the Bush family.

Trump has Obama petrified that Trump will dismiss programs that weren’t properly installed using proper law.

Trump has single handedly debunked and disemboweled any value of news media as we knew it—news now suffering from an all-time level of distrust and disrespect.

Trump has leaders from all over the world talking about him, whether good or bad. Trust me, powerful men who have been president before weren’t liked by the global community. I doubt Mikhail Gorbachev liked Reagan when Reagan said, “Tear down that wall.”

Trump has expressly disclosed the fraud perpetrated on the American public by Hillary Clinton. He has, quite literally, brought Hillary to her knees—if you believe that nervous tension and disorders offer physical side effects and damage.

Trump has unified the silent majority in a way that should be patently frightening to “liberals.”
As the press accuses Trump of being a house of cards, Trump has proven the press is the real house of cards. He has whipped up the entire establishment into pure panic. Trump has exposed them for who they are and worse, what they are. George Clooney was right when he said Trump draws live news coverage of his podium that he’s not yet approached. Thanks, George, you were perfectly correct.

What we see as headline news today are actually the last bubbles from the ship that is now sunk—meaning the standard news media, as a propaganda machine, has been exposed. They have no more value.

In the same way Trump asked the African-American community this question, I asked my friend, ”At this point, what do you have to lose?” We have mass cop shootings, riots in our streets, ambushed cops, double digit inflation, bombs blowing up in our cities, targeted police, #BLM, a skyrocketing jobless rate, no economic growth, privately owned land being seized by the federal government, the worst racial tension in my lifetime, no God in schools, more abortions than ever, illegal aliens pouring into our country, sick veterans receiving no care, and a debt that doubled in seven years to $19 trillion. Are you really happy with the condition of the current system?

One man has done all of this in one year—one guy, and on his own dime. And with everything I’ve written above, you believe Trump hasn’t done anything? You claim that you are afraid of Donald Trump? No wonder we’re in trouble. You can say that Trump is a lousy presidential candidate. That’s your right. Just don’t ever say he’s not effective.

That Megan Kelly, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post, Rachel Maddow, the Huffington Post, the New York Times, Raleigh’s News and Observer, the AP, Don Lemon, Jake Tapper, and many more, failed to implement their collectively orchestrated lie on the American people against Trump, is actually a massive testament to Trump. The press colluded pure propaganda to accomplish his demise … and they have collectively failed and miserably.

Here’s just one example of how badly America is injured right now. There are high school football players on their knees during the national anthem simply because the press used as propaganda to program those kids to do that very thing. But, these kids are mimicking NFL stars the same way the same kids chooses which brand of football shoe to purchase—they’re overtly brain-washed to do that very thing.

Now, we have a generation of children who hate America.

America’s problem isn’t that little children are on their knee in collective disrespect of America. Our problem is that America is on her knee from collective disrespect by Americans.

You can disrespect America all you want. But, it’s high-time you respect the silent majority.

Because they’re not simply the “silent majority” as you’ve been trained to believe when Hillary calls them “deplorables.” The fact is, they are simply the majority. And now they’re no longer silent either. Donald Trump changed all of that, single-handedly and within one year.” From Be Forbes.”

9/29/2016 , this is a copy and paste, and needs to be read and spread!!

I just found this on his Facebook page and on that page alone there are over 13,000 shares but that doesn’t include copy and paste copies. I just wanted to make sure he doesn’t mind it being shared and from the comments I found – he doesn’t mind at all.

Why Use the Phrase Radical Islam – Its So Simple

Over the last seven and a half years we’ve heard that it is wrong to use the phrase “radical Islam” and “radical Jihadist” from President Obama and people within the Obama administration. Last week we got a televised rant or temper tantrum from the “bully pulpit” of the president about his perspective on how ludicrous it is for people to use these phrases when describing terror attacks on the United States. I’ve bitten my tongue about this stupidity most every time he’s gone on the warpath about it, but I had an epiphany that explains it so simply that I had to share.

In order to wrap your mind around this concept, first you need to think like a coach. Let’s think like a high school football coach who is preparing for a weekly game. First, you want to prepare your team for the game. You want your team to win and you want to know as much about the challenger as possible. First you look at the schedule to see who you’re playing. You identify the team, you review the players, the coaches, their strategies, the plays they use against other teams – what works and what doesn’t, which players are the strongest and what are their weakenesses.

You do all these things not because you want a participation ribbon at the end of the day – but because you want to WIN. Your team and your fans want and NEED a win. Just like the US wants and NEEDS a win against the terrorists who threaten our way or life and our lives.

Any coach who doesn’t know what team they are playing, who doesn’t prepare their team and who doesn’t help their team do sufficient preparation for any confrontation or “game” – is leading them into a potential downfall. At a high school game its only a game – but the president as the Commander in Chief has a much more crucial role. Seems to me its way past time for him and his administration to suit up, we are NOT facing the JV team. We need to identify the enemy, call them by name, and study them so that we can defeat them. Its time for us to go on offense instead of getting lost in the backfield and coming up short on 4th down.

California Primary Field Guide

SAN DIEGO – Heading into today’s California Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders pushed hard to forge through the rough terrain of the West in an effort to strike gold on the California coast.

But it’s looking more like the Donner party than the lucky 49ers.

Although today’s contest could be very close, California has always been solid territory for the Clintons in the past and this cycle is looking to be no different.

Hillary Clinton may see a narrower margin than the 8-point victory against then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008, but her pull with the state’s large swath of Hispanic voters combined with her stronger performances among older, better-educated voters, means she’s likely to win.

And so she’d better!

As of Monday, Clinton has claimed delegate majority and her party’s nomination. But today very much matters for momentum and narrative.

A Clinton win in the Golden State would officially shut down the Sanders machine. Though some may continue on with calls of unfair rules and issues with superdelegates, the rest of the Democratic Party, looking at facing Donald Trump, will coalesce for the sake of a November victory.

A big enough win could even take her to the nomination without relying on “superdelegates,” party elders who head to the Philadelphia convention technically unbound but substantially behind Clinton.

If Clinton loses today, however, her demand for Sanders to get out is much weaker, and his influence over her at the convention becomes stronger.

But Nate Silver’s argument as to how she won the nomination will be what gives her the likely win for today: More Democrats will vote for her. Yes, the margins will likely be closer than 2008 (see Nevada’s closer-than-expected results from a few months ago), but she has more pull with more voters in the state than Sanders.

For our final field guide of the 2016 cycle, let’s take a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway ahead of today’s California primary.

The politics of California is as diverse as the landscape: Booming cities, rough-riding cattle ranchers, coastal idylls, heart-swelling mountain vistas and desert wastelands.

But most of the voters live in and around the Bay Area in the central coast or Los Angeles and SoCal. And like the Giants and the Dodgers, they tend to disagree.

Bay Area: Baking for Bernie
The most “loyally liberal” part of the state, according to the Public Policy Institute of California’s 2012 study, is where Barack Obama did the best in 2008 and where Bernie Sanders will see his berniest bros come out for him.

Within the Bay Area, however, there is a split. In 2008, San Francisco County and Alameda County, two of the three most populous counties in the region, both went for Obama, but Santa Clara County, where Silicon Valley calls home in South San Francisco Bay, went for Clinton.


There will be a strong cohort of Bernie loyalists that recall the heydays of Haight-Ashbury and will come out in droves for the socialist who spent time in a hippie commune. And there’s the new age wave of eco-friendly, reusable-bag toting Millennials who think redistributing wealth is a swell idea from their studio apartments on Telegraph Hill.

But Clinton’s strongest pull in this part of California is Donald Trump. It’s hard to imagine how Trump could have helped Clinton more in the final week of the primaries than by repeated declaring germane the ethnicity of a federal judge presiding over a fraud suit against Trump for allegedly ripping off vets, single moms and the elderly with a fake college.

Los Angeles: Stars shine for Hillary
The City of Angels has the largest vote share in the state’s Democratic primary, accounting for 25 percent of today’s vote share. Eight years ago, Clinton won Los Angeles County by over 13 points in the last Democratic primary, and back in 1992, her husband also won the county by 13 points against once-and-future California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Nearly half of the county is Hispanic, a group which came out for Clinton in Nevada earlier this year and has seen a sharp uptick in voter registration both in the state and nationwide.

Again, Trump does Clinton’s work for her.

This region of California and further south into Orange County and San Diego County tend to be the more conservative parts of the deep blue state and account for less Democratic primary votes.

These areas are among the wealthiest in the state and are not inclined towards Sandersian economics. Clinton won both Orange and San Diego counties in 2008 with a sweep of Southern California. She will likely perform similarly today.

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Indiana Primary Field Guide

It’s all coming down to the Hoosier State.

Indiana Republicans haven’t seen their state’s primary matter so much in 40 years. That’s because it’s been that long since the GOP nominating process has gone on this long.

The last time the GOP presidential hopefuls rumbled into the Hoosier State was 1976, when former California Gov. Ronald Reagan was giving chase to President Gerald Ford.

Reagan pulled off a narrow victory and, along with wins in Texas, Georgia and Nebraska, reclaimed momentum after back-to-back losses in April.

Reagan acolyte Sen. Ted Cruz certainly hopes for a similar storyline this year against frontrunner Donald Trump. But Cruz has some big problems with his preferred narrative. He has 46 percent of the delegates he needs to win, mathematically eliminating him from an outright victory.

Trump, meanwhile, is 81 percent of the way home and can only be denied in a contested convention that he promises would be an even uglier brawl than the race so far.

Indiana polls say Cruz is facing the elimination round of his run. Trump leads by 11 points in the Real Clear Politics average of polls for the state. Trump and his growing number of admirers in the party establishment are looking for Indiana to seal Cruz’s fate.

But reason an Indiana loss would be an extinction event for Cruz’s candidacy is that the state stacks up so well for him on paper. Its voters are very conservative, socially and fiscally. He was once seen as the favorite. Now, Republicans appear to have tired of their intractable, ugly nominating process, and the momentum is for Trump, or at least for surcease.

If Cruz wins in Indiana, those conservatives who are backing his candidacy more out of a desire to block Trump than to pick Cruz will begin to fall away in larger numbers. Their focus will shift quickly from the Republican nominating process to the possibility of a third party; perhaps the Libertarians, perhaps something new.

Cruz could, and probably would, vow to fight on in a bid to soak up as many delegates as possible in the final month of the race. But that would just make him a Republican Bernie Sanders – a man out of the running but looking to increase his bid price from the party and its presumptive nominee.

But Cruz could substantially right his listing vessel today with a comeback win. And if you get to know the people and places of Indiana, you’ll see why. Come with us for a tour of the 19th state.

By the numbers…
–57 total delegates
–30 statewide, 27 by congressional district
–Winner-take-all at state and district levels
–Open primary
–635,589 total ballots cast in 2012
–Last polls close at 7 p.m. ET

Every basketball fan knows Indiana is the Hoosier State. There’s even a movie about it. But what many don’t know, including Hoosier fans, is where the word originally came from. The Indiana Historical Society casts some light on the mystery: “One of the earliest known uses of the term is found in an 1827 letter that states, ‘There is a yankee trick for you – done up by a Hoosier.’ …In 1831, Gen. John Tipton received a proposal from a businessman offering to name his boat the ‘Indiana Hoosier’ if Tipton would give him business in the area…The word ‘Hoosier’ was widely used by the 1830s. Around this time, John Finley of Richmond wrote a poem called The Hoosier’s Nest, which was widely read. He wrote the word as ‘hoosher’ and did not explain its meaning, which leads historians to believe that Finley felt his readers would already know and understand the word.”

The outcome of this region is not in doubt: Trump, Trump and more Trump. The question is how many voters turn out.

Gary has definitely seen better days. The History Channel series about life after the extinction of the human race was partly filmed here.

Think of this like a smaller version of Detroit, in Wayne County, Mich. Trump won there by 13 points and can be expected to do even better here. Despite the whole casino thing

Lake County, which is home to Gary, is the second-most populous county in the state but provided only 3 percent of the total vote in 2012’s Republican primary. If Trump is going to deliver an Indiana knockout tonight he will do so in part by beefing up that number with lots of crossover Democrats and independent votes in the state’s open primary.

Lake County
–Population: 490,228
–Median household income: $49,617
–Race: Caucasian, 71 percent; black, 25 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 20 percent
–2012 election: Obama 65 percent
–Residents 65 or older: 15 percent
–After native son Michael Jackson died in 2009, his father, Joe, and the local mayor teamed up to raise money for a museum dedicated to the pop star. Despite raising funds, no development has taken place yet.

The large Amish communities in the northeastern quarter of Indiana are not the only socially conservative folks there.

Even in 2012, when he had already dropped out of the race, Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum still carded 20 percent of the vote or more in some of the counties in this portion of the state.

The population center of the region is Ft. Wayne in Allen County, which produced the third-largest number of GOP primary votes four years ago, behind only two metro Indianapolis counties.

If Cruz has a chance at an upset it will begin with massive support and massive turnout in this corner of the state.

Allen County
–Population: 368,450
–Median household income: $49,124
–Race: Caucasian, 81 percent; black, 12 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 27 percent
–2012 election: Romney 57 percent
–Residents 65 or older: 13 percent
–What some say was first ever professional baseball game was played on May 4, 1871 in Fort Wayne. The Cleveland Forest Citys took on Fort Wayne’s Kekiongas, but the match was rained out at the top of the ninth inning with the home team up by two.

As we have seen with most major cities in these primaries, they are usually more Democratic than the states as a whole. But liberal-leaning or not, Marion County is the most populous in the state and will be the largest trove of votes. Four years ago, 12 percent of all votes came out of Marion.

That’s good news for Trump, who has thrived in Democratic strongholds, especially in open primaries.

But, unlike other cities where the suburbs mostly fall in collar counties, Marion is an urban/suburban split. There are plenty of higher income households that might deliver for Cruz or even some vestigial vote for Ohio Gov. John Kasich. That’s the same story in Hamilton County immediately to the north.

Expect nearly one in five votes to come from Marion and Hamilton combined.

Looking south to the conservative confines of Johnson County, things might be a bit different. This ought to be Trump’s best showing in the metro area.

Marion County
–Population: 934,243
–Median household income: $42,378
–Race: Caucasian, 66 percent; black, 28 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 28 percent
–2012 election: Obama 60 percent
–Residents 65 or older: 11 percent
–The first event held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a helium-filled balloon competition in 1909.

The only problem Trump has with the southern part of Indiana is that there isn’t more of it. As we saw in the neighboring region of Illinois, this is going to be a Trump blowout region.

Though geographically large, it’s mostly rural and home to just 20 percent or so of the state’s population. But what it lacks in volume it makes up for in intensity. Places like Jasper in Dubois County, ought to deliver big for Trump as will other counties between the Wabash and Ohio rivers.

Dubois County
–Population: 42,461
–Median household income: $54,186
–Race: Caucasian, 98 percent; black, 1 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 18 percent
–2012 election: Romney 63 percent
–Residents 65 or older: 16 percent
–Jasper, located here, is considered the “Wood Capital of the World” with numerous furniture companies like Kimball International and Masterbrand Cabinets based here.

For today’s contest the bellwether to watch is Harrison County, just over the Ohio River from Louisville, Ky. Since 2000, this county has picked the GOP winner in every primary cycle within a fraction of the final statewide total.

Harrison County
–Population: 39,578
–Median household income: $53,483
–Race: Caucasian, 98 percent; black, 1 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 16 percent
–2012 election: Romney 60 percent
–Residents 65 or older: 16 percent
–Home to vast underground caves where Daniel Boone and Squire Boone hid from Indians in the late 18th century. Squire Boone would later return and set up a homestead here.

[GOP delegate count: Trump 996; Cruz 565; Kasich 153 (1,237 needed to win)]

True to his humble Indiana roots, native son President Benjamin Harrison wanted to be a fair leader to the nation’s newest states. After years of trying to establish statehood for the Dakota Territories, with much corruption and headache, Harrison didn’t want any further problems. Bismarck Tribune: “By 1884, Dakota had gone through a number of corrupt governors. This increased the demand for statehood. There was now a strong movement to have the territory divided with North Dakota and South Dakota coming into the union as separate states.  There also was an effort in southern Dakota Territory to get South Dakota admitted as a state and northern Dakota declared a territory…On Nov.2, President Benjamin Harrison signed the proclamation making North Dakota and South Dakota as the two newest states.  Since Harrison blindly signed the documents, we have no idea which one he signed first.”

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Sally Persons contributed to this report. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

I-95 Primary Field Guide

Whether you call them grinders, subs or hoagies, there’s a pretty decent chance that if you are Northeastern Republican, it’s primary day for you.

It’s a piece of the primary calendar that has had remarkably little scrutiny in recent years. The Republican calendar is designed to give moderates like John McCain or Mitt Romney a boost with blue states in the late going. Much like California on the last day of balloting, these primaries are scheduled to provide stopping power against insurgents.

Or not…

We’ve talked before about Donald Trump as Bizzaro World Romney: a Northeastern, socially moderate businessman distrusted by the party’s conservative base. Trump has what Romney lacked: a passionate core group of followers. But he is only just now gaining what Romney had: the support of the party’s elite and the backing of its professional class.

But, ready or not, here he comes. Trump will perhaps not do as well overall in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Rhode Island as Romney did four years ago, but he is almost certain to win.

How much Trump wins by, though, is quite material.

On the Democratic side, it doesn’t really matter. Whether presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton wins by 2 points or 20 points, it’s all about the narrative. Bernie Sanders can’t really catch her. And while she could win so big today that her race was not just substantially over but actually done, it’s only a question of time. She will not be denied.

Trump, however, needs both the narrative and the delegates. So we’ll leave the Democrats to their own devices today and focus on the hunt for the 172 delegates on the GOP side.

The stakes are these: Trump needs clearly to win all five contests, even if by pluralities, for the sake of momentum and claim at least 100 delegates for the sake of math. If Trump moves another furlong ahead of Sen. Ted Cruz today, Cruz’s task in must-win Indiana next week becomes that much harder.

With that in mind, let’s meet the last folks in America who still know what a passenger train looks like.

[Watch Fox: Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier bring you the latest as the results roll in tonight at 6 p.m. ET]

For today’s primary contests, Pennsylvania is the one that matters the most. It has the most delegates on the line and the weirdest allocation system.

Only 17 of the state’s 71 delegates are given to the state’s overall primary winner. The remaining 54 are directly elected within their congressional districts – three for each of the 18 districts – but are unaffiliated with any campaign on the ballot.

This means that voters will elect delegates that aren’t officially supporting any particular candidate and are not bound to any candidate ahead of the national convention in Cleveland.

In normal years, that makes them objects of affection and desire among campaigns. This year, they had better just hope they have unlisted phone numbers. This will also require campaigns to continue to have a strong ground game in Pennsylvania beyond today’s vote, something that Cruz has been far more adept at than Trump throughout the cycle.

Even though Trump enjoys a 20-point lead over Cruz in the Real Clear Politics polling average in Pennsylvania, his delegate gains are likely to be substantially smaller.

The keys to the Keystone State are, not surprisingly, in and around Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. But there are some gains to be made in the broad expanse in between the home turf of the Stillers and the Iggles.

–71 total delegates
–17 at-large, 54 congressional delegates
–Winner-take-all statewide, unbound delegates elected on the district level.
–Closed primary
–811,706 total ballots cast in 2012
–Mitt Romney, 58 percent; Rick Santorum, 18 percent; Ron Paul, 13 percent; Newt Gingrich, 10 percent
–Polls close at 8 p.m. ET

Bucks County: Frilly Philly
–Population: 626,685
–Median household income: $76,824
–Race: Caucasian, 89 percent; black, 4 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 37 percent
–2012 election: Obama 50 percent
–Residents 65 or older: 17 percent
–Yardley is where George Washington and his men set off for their history-turning Christmas Eve raid on Hessian troops dozing across the river in Trenton.

Washington County: Pittsburbs
–Population: 208,187
–Median household income: $55,323
–Race: Caucasian, 94 percent; black, 3 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 26 percent
–2012 election: Romney 56 percent
–Residents 65 or older: 19 percent
–Site of the Whiskey Rebellion in 1791, when Scots-Irish residents rebelled against a tax on their currency: distilled spirits. President Washington, ahem, disagreed with their interpretation.

Centre County: They are Penn State
–Population: 160,580
–Median household income: $50,295
–Race: Caucasian, 89 percent; black, 4 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 40 percent
–2012 election: Obama 49 percent
–Residents 65 or older: 12 percent
–Pennsylvania Match Company was founded in 1899 and was among the leading producers of wooden matches in America until World War II.

Like Pennsylvania, Maryland is divided into three states: the rural western Panhandle, the D.C. suburbs and the shore. But unlike the Keystone State, Maryland awards all of its 38 delegates today.

The panhandle and the areas around Baltimore County are pretty much a slam-dunk for Trump, but the D.C. suburbs of Montgomery County will prove challenging for the Republican frontrunner. This area is similar to Fairfax and Loudon Counties in Virginia, which went heavily for Sen. Marco Rubio in their primary back in March. Gov. John Kasich can expect to see some support kick in today.

Further out in Frederick County is where Cruz will see his votes aiming for the sweet spot between the more liberal conservatives in Washington area and the fervent Trump supporters in the outskirts. These areas are more conservative by nature, yet are still affluent areas that are not natural to Trump’s base.

–38 total delegates
–14 at-large, 24 district delegates
–Closed primary
–248,468 total ballots cast in 2012
–Mitt Romney, 49 percent; Rick Santorum, 28 percent; Newt Gingrich, 11 percent, Ron Paul, 10 percent
–Polls close at 8 p.m. ET

Montgomery County: Club Fed
–Population: 1,030,447
–Median household income: $98,704
–Race: Caucasian, 62 percent; black, 19 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 57 percent
–2012 election: Obama 71 percent
–Residents 65 or older: 14 percent
–Among the 10 richest counties in America.

Frederick County: Out West
–Population: 243,322
–Median household income: $84,480
–Race: Caucasian, 83 percent; black, 9 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 39 percent
–2012 election: Romney 50 percent
–Residents 65 or older: 13 percent
–In 1862, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee seized Frederick’s train yards in order to choke off supplies to the Army of the Potomac, but failed to arouse what he hoped would be an uprising of support for the rebellion.

Baltimore County: Down to The Wire
–Population: 831,128
–Median household income: $66,940
–Race: Caucasian, 64 percent; black, 28 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 36 percent
–2012 election: Obama 57 percent
–Residents 65 or older: 16 percent
–Bengies drive-in theater in Middle River is the largest continually operated movie theater screen in America.

If Trump delivers in Connecticut the way he did in his neighboring home state of New York, the Constitution State’s unique allocation of delegates won’t be a problem.


Connecticut awards their 10 statewide delegates to the winner with over 50 percent, which based on neighboring New York’s results could be a possibility for Trump. If no candidate reaches that 50 percent mark then each candidate with 20 percent support receives delegates proportionally based on their results.

This would still be good for Trump because even if he doesn’t clinch a 50 percent mark, he’ll likely be very close to it meaning he can still walk away with a majority of delegates.

The district level delegates are awarded to the winner of each of the five congressional districts. Areas like Fairfield County just outside of the greater New York City area is where Kasich may find his support. These are the affluent, well-educated types of voters that gave him a congressional district in Manhattan last Tuesday, so there’s a chance he could snag a few delegates here.

The rest of the state looks a lot more like Hartford County with its blue-collar roots, post-industry boomtown with the same ethnic populations of the Trump strongholds we’ve seen in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York.

And if the state’s Republicans were once willing to pick a pro wrestling executive as a Senate candidate in 2010, why not one of its charactersfor president?

–28 total delegates
–13 at-large, 15 district delegates
–Closed primary
–59,578 total ballots cast in 2012
–Mitt Romney, 67 percent; Ron Paul, 13 percent; Newt Gingrich, 10 percent; Rick Santorum, 7 percent
–Polls close at 8 p.m. ET

Fairfield County: Ahoy, polloi
–Population: 948,053
–Median household income: $83,163
–Race: Caucasian, 80 percent; black, 12 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 45 percent
–2012 election: Obama 55 percent
–Residents 65 or older: 14 percent
–As with all counties in Connecticut, there is no county government or county seat. Each town is responsible for all local government activities.

Hartford County: Remember the Whalers
–Population: 897,985
–Median household income: $65,499
–Race: Caucasian, 77 percent; black, 15 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 36 percent
–2012 election: Obama 62 percent
–Residents 65 or older: 16 percent
–The Hartford Courant is recognized as the oldest continuously run newspaper in the United States, beginning in 1764.

Meet the Buddy Cianci Republicans.

The former Providence mayor, who died in January, had some disagreements with the federal government. But he might have credibly run for mayor in 2014 despite his criminal convictions if it weren’t for the cancer that killed him. A colorful crook who favored tough tactics, locals loved their hard-knocks mayor.

A wide authoritarian streak runs through Rhode Island’s Republicans, much like those in New York. So it’s no surprise that Trump should ride roughshod everywhere from Federal Hill to Warwick.

The rules for delegates, though, are as slippery as a quahog.

The Ocean State also awards their statewide delegates proportionally with a mandatory 10 percent threshold. In the congressional districts, if one candidate receives 67 percent of the vote then that candidate receives two delegates and the next highest candidate receives one. If no one reaches 67 percent then the top three candidates with a 10 percent threshold each receive one delegate.

These rules somewhat favor Trump who is expected to sweep Rhode Island in today’s contest. Even those in highly affluent areas like coastal Washington County are unlikely to have enough Kasich voters to give delegates to anyone but the Republican frontrunner. And most of the vote share lies in Providence County, a highly ethnic, working-class town that looks a lot like Boston and Staten Island making it an expected sweeping victory for Trump in the state’s most populous county.

–19 total delegates
–13 at-large, 6 district delegates
–Open to Republicans, unaffiliated voters
–14,564 total ballots cast in 2012
–Mitt Romney, 63 percent; Ron Paul, 24 percent; Newt Gingrich, 6 percent; Rick Santorum, 6 percent
–Polls close at 8 p.m. ET

Washington County: Chip off the old Block
–Population: 126,517
–Median household income: $72,784
–Race: Caucasian, 94 percent; black, 1 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 44 percent
–2012 election: Obama 57 percent
–Residents 65 or older: 18 percent
–Known as “South County” it has some of the best seaside spots in the eastern states, including Block Island and Watch Hill.

With only one congressional district, Delaware looks to be a sweep for Trump across the board. The rules here are pretty simple: majority wins it all. This makes things even easier for Trump. The main stash of voters is in New Castle County where the capital, Dover is, but those in the beach communities in Sussex County will likely be just as strong for the Republican frontrunner.

–16 total delegates
–13 at-large, 3 district delegates
–Closed primary
–28,592 total ballots cast in 2012
–Mitt Romney, 56 percent; Newt Gingrich, 27 percent; Ron Paul, 11 percent; Rick Santorum, 6 percent
–Polls close at 8 p.m. ET

Sussex County: Under the boardwalk
–Population: 210,849
–Median household income: $53,505
–Race: Caucasian, 83 percent; black, 13 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 22 percent
–2012 election: Obama 57 percent
–Residents 65 or older: 24 percent
–Every two years, the community of Georgetown has a festival known as Return Day, two days after Election Day. The holiday originates from colonial times when the town would gather to hear election results and end any animosities with a traditional ox roast.

[GOP delegate count: Trump 845; Cruz 559; Kasich 148 (1,237 needed to win)]

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Sally Persons contributed to this report. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Your New York Field Guide

FOX News First: April 19
By Chris Stirewalt

It’s been 72 years since a New Yorker was last elected president. And it’s been 60 years since either party nominated a New Yorker. But as the wild and wooly 2016 primaries roll into the nation’s third-most populous state, New Yorkers stand atop both the Democratic and Republican ranks.

While home-state wins for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are to be expected – certainly for Trump, who faces a still-divided GOP – how they win, and by how much could prove very important for the closing weeks of both parties’ nominating processes. And if Clinton were to lose? Well, hold on to your Birkenstocks.

Polls close at 9 p.m. ET, and there’s plenty to know. So grab a crisp empire or any of the more than 40 varieties of apples grown in New York, kick back and enjoy the grand tour of the Excelsior State’s political geography.

Eight years ago, then-Sen. Clinton won her home state by a whopping 17 points and carried away almost half of the delegates. But the Real Clear Politics average of polls shows her on track to do a bit worse than that, and against a substantially weaker opponent.

Could some of the surprisingly close margin in New York be attributable to the fact that her rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, is a New York native? Sure. But it is also reflective of the listlessness that has marked her frontrunners’ march to the nomination all year.

Most alarming for Clinton is that Sanders has dramatically outperformed pre-election polling in states like Michigan and Wisconsin, which makes an upset possible. A loss in her home state would not permanently ruin Clinton’s chances, but it would be a devastating setback.

The state’s closed primary does help her, since the independents and fringe-party members that might naturally support Sanders can’t play. She can also count on the astonishing diversity of the New York metro area, and the voters of the many wealthy enclaves beyond the subway lines.

But Sanders can find lots of reason to hope in a city that elected Bill de Blasio as its mayor and in a state that has seen a leftward lurch in its politics over the past decade. The Vermont senator only started actively seeking votes in New York at the end of March, but has been pouring it on since then.

A whopping 247 delegates will be awarded on the basis of today’s election on the Democratic side. Of those, 84 will be divided proportionately between Clinton and Sanders on the statewide level. But the real delegate haul is at the congressional-district level where the state’s 27 districts will award a total 163 delegates, also proportionately based on the popular vote by district.

The candidates have been looking high and low for potential voters, but where should you be looking for the keys to victory on the Democratic side?

[Dem delegate count: Clinton 1758; Sanders 1076 (2,383 needed to win)]

Both Clinton and Sanders can claim New York City as a place to shine today, but for very different reasons. Clinton will expect to do well in places like the Bronx, where non-Hispanic white voters are a tiny sliver of the electorate, while Sanders will be aiming for the hipster youth and older liberals in places like Brooklyn.

Kings County: Brooklyn
–7th, 8th, 9th congressional districts
–Population: 2,621,793
–Median household income: $46,958
–Race: Caucasian (non-Hispanic), 39 percent; Hispanic, 20 percent; black, 35 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 32 percent
–2012 election: Obama 82 percent
–Residents 65 and older: 12 percent
–Originally its own separate city, Brooklyn did not become part of the City of New York until the turn of the century dubbed the “Great Mistake of 1898” by many in Brooklyn at the time.

Bronx County
–15th, 16th Congressional District
–Population: 1,455,444
–Median household income: $70,794
–Race: Caucasian “non-Hispanic,” 11 percent; Hispanic, 55 percent; black, 44 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 18 percent
–2012 election: Obama 91 percent
–Residents 65 and older: 11 percent
Edgar Allen Poe wrote several famous poems in his Bronx home, including Annabel Lee.

If Sanders and his supporters could build a world all of their own, it might look a lot like Central New York: farms, college towns and staunchly liberal politics.

This is the Sanders breadbasket this year. Central New York included some of Clinton’s weakest spots in the 2008 primary and promises to do so again. Syracuse University, Ithaca College, Cornell University and the white rural voters who reflect Sanders’ home state of Vermont should deliver bigly for him.

Tompkins County: Ithaca
–23rd district
–Population: 104,926
–Median household income: $52,836
–Race: Caucasian, 82 percent; black, 4 percent
–Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 50 percent
–2012 election: Obama 52 percent
–Residents 65 and older: 12 percent
–Ithaca has its own local currency called, HOUR, started in 1991 to keep money in the local economy. HOUR is equal to roughly $10 and is widely accepted in the town.

[Watch Fox: Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier team up to bring special coverage of the New York primary tonight starting with “Special Report” at6 p.m. ET]