First it was all a joke. A media sideshow. A publicity stunt that no one really understood the purpose of.
Donald Trump was actually going to run for President. His campaign slogan: “Make America Great Again.” It was laughable.
Soon after the billionaire announced his candidacy, his nascent bid for the White House took on a more serious tone, but not because anyone was taking him more seriously. Rather, because his comments about Mexican immigrants were so inflammatory that it was difficult to dismiss them with derisive humor.
From that point on, it was all downhill for the GOP establishment. Trump racked up popular support, defying every law of conventional politics along the way.
Each and every time analysts and pundits doubted him, he prevailed and that unlikely momentum carried right over into the caucuses and primaries and now, after Super Tuesday 3, Trump has effectively knocked out every Republican challenger except Ted Cruz (let’s face it, Kasich isn’t going to get the nod).
Still, all commentators and political “experts” want to talk about is a contested Republican convention in Cleveland. While that’s certainly an interesting outcome to consider as it forces us to look back at political history to understand the precedent and what that precedent might mean come July, it’s as if no one has learned anything from the past nine months.
That is, the assumption should probably be that Trump is going to lock up the nomination before the convention, not that they’ll be some kind of historic bid to rob him in four months. The media - both liberal and conservative - act as though it’s virtually impossible for him to make it to 1,237 delegates. We’re talking about a guy here who no one thought would even register in terms of poll numbers and now he's the overwhelming favorite.
All of this is not to say that we - or anyone else for that matter - should necessarily believe that a Trump nomination is a good thing for the GOP let alone for America, but it is to say that all of the talk about a contested convention may be wishful thinking.
As this simple graphic from The NY Times shows, if Trump simply maintains his current level of support, he’s “almost certain” to secure the nomination:
“After Tuesday’s contests, no other candidate retains a real chance of capturing the delegates required to win the nomination outright. Mr. Rubio dropped out, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio is too far behind, and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas would need to win the vast majority of the remaining delegates — a near impossibility,” The Times writes.
“Crunching the latest numbers, Donald Trump needs to win 54% of the remaining delegates to obtain a majority [and] that's doable, but not necessarily a slam dunk,” NBC adds, before noting that “Trump won 60% of the available delegates from the March 15 contests.”
Trump currently leads Cruz by 261 delegates
- Trump 683 (47% of all delegates won)
- Cruz 422 (29%)
- Rubio 172 (12%)
- Kasich 143 (10%)
Trump needs to win 54% of the remaining delegates to hit the 1237 magic number
Cruz needs to win 80% of the remaining delegates to hit the 1237 magic number
Kasich needs to win 107% of the remaining delegates to hit the 1237 magic number
As Trump himself pointed out in his victory speech in Florida, the fewer candidates, the better his chances to win. Or, as NBC concludes, Trump won 60% of the delegates on March 15, “and that was with four candidates in the GOP field; now [that] there are three you could argue that the map only gets better for Trump.”
Yes, you certainly could.