Donald Trump, President? Here’s The One Thing That Might Stop Him

The media has been all over Donald Trump since the billionaire announced he would run for president in 2016. It seems nothing has been able to slow him so far, as he steamrollered over opponents like Ted Cruz and John Kasich. Even though the latest polls have The Donald in the lead by nine points, the GOP still has to pick its nominee, and there’s one more factor that could turn the tides: contested conventions. As Rolling Stone described, a contested convention occurs when none of the candidates running in a particular party get at least half of the total delegates up for grabs in the primaries. When that happens, the delegates select who will be put forward as the nominee for president.

As of now, Trump has 736 delegates pledged to him, while Cruz commands 463, and Kasich 143. A total of 1,237 delegates are needed for a candidate to grab the nomination, and there are 943 delegates still available. If Trump wins just another 600 or so delegates, he will be the Republican candidate for president in 2016.

Trump has been gaining momentum among voters as well in the minds of delegates despite his controversial comments on hotbed issues like illegal immigration and abortion. In fact, The Donald’s commentary seems to only make him more popular, keeping him in the limelight for the better part of his campaign. Other Republicans have pointed out that Trump has no political experience and comes from a business background, but Trump’s newness to the field and ability to self-fund his campaign seem to prove he will not be tainted by corrupt politics.

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It’s likely that Trump will get the remaining delegate votes he needs as is he a media and public favorite for president, though a contested convention could change that. Earlier this month, Trump managed to win in Tennessee, a vital state with a total of 58 delegates to give. Thirty-three of those delegates went to Donald Trump, with 16 going to competitors Ted Cruz and nine to Marco Rubio.

Perhaps even stranger than the idea of a contested convention is who is behind it. Senator Marco Rubio, a conservative himself, is offering voters a chance to stop Trump. As NBC News noted, delegates who throw support to a candidate that later drops out can choose to support another candidate, but Rubio wants to keep his delegates and is asking them not to support Trump for president.

Donald Trump President? Here's The One Thing That Might Stop Him
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, MD. [Image Via Gage Skidmore,, CC-BY SA 3.0]

This year, the GOP battle for the presidential nomination has been more cutthroat than in recent memory, and other candidates, such as Chris Christie, who have resigned, are still taking hard-set positions despite no longer running. After throwing in the towel himself, the New Jersey governor decided to live vicariously through The Donald and support Trump’s bid for president.

There are still more primaries to come, with the elections going through April and May and into early June, so nothing is certain yet. The all-important state of California does not have primaries until June 7, so its 172 delegates are still up for grabs. What’s also interesting to note is that delegates do not have to simply give all their votes to one nominee; the votes can be split amongst some or all nominees. That means California and other important states like New York (95 delegates) could either propel Trump to the Oval Office and a presidential nomination, or cost him the GOP presidential nod.

[Image Via T.J. Hawk,, CC-BY SA 2.0]

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