Donald Trump has long taunted the media - and specifically Fox’s “crazy Megyn” Kelly - for failing to understand “math.”
The problem, Trump says, is that it isn’t fair to criticize him for not polling higher than 50% when the GOP field is so crowded. In fact, the billionaire has said, it’s a small miracle he’s been able to garner the amount of support he has over the past nine months given that at one point, there were 17 Republican candidates. Implicit in that argument is the contention that once the field narrows, Trump will command an even larger lead in the polls.
As we head into the Wisconsin primary on April 5, it would appear that Trump was indeed correct. The latest NBC/SurveyMonkey weekly tracking poll shows Trump nearing the 50% threshold as the preferred candidate among registered Republicans nationwide.
“With just three candidates left in the Republican primary race, Donald Trump now holds 48 percent support of registered Republicans and Republican-leaners,” NBC writes. “This is more than 20 points higher than his second-place competitor, Ted Cruz — who now enjoys 27 percent support. John Kasich got a boost of 2 points this week and holds third place with 18 percent support.”
As those who have followed the GOP circus are no doubt aware, the Republican establishment effectively exited the race with Marco Rubio. There’s some begrudging, lukewarm support for Ted Cruz, but make no mistake, were it not for Trump, the GOP would sooner not run a candidate at all then support Cruz. That is, he’s just about the furthest thing from “mainstream” you can get without going ... well, without going full-Donald.
Indeed, it’s not even clear that the establishment is prepared to accept Cruz as the nominee even if he somehow manages to steal the nomination from Trump at the convention in July. "If we don't have a nominee who can win on the first ballot, I'm for none of the above,” former House Speaker John Boehner said. “They all had a chance to win. None of them won. So I'm for none of the above." In other words, the powers that be in the party may well try to install Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney and send the “outsiders” home with nothing but fond memories of the campaign trail.
In any event, NBC also polled registered Republicans and Republican-leaners on the contested convention. Here’s what they said:
There you have it. Nearly 90% of Trump supporters say he shouldn't have to abide by the rules that govern the nomination. Unfortunately, as we reported on Monday, they won't be able to bring their guns to Cleveland to demand the GOP nod.