Don’t Dismiss Donald Yet: Trump Still Has Path To Victory Before GOP Convention

Since Senator Ted Cruz won the majority of the delegates in Wisconsin, many have started to dismiss Donald Trump’s likelihood of nabbing the GOP nomination. But the narrative may be going too far.

In other words, don’t dismiss Donald yet, because Trump still has a path to the 1,237 delegates he will need to have in order to garner the GOP nomination.

It is true that Ted Cruz walloped Trump in Wisconsin. The win was such a humiliation to Trump and the Trump campaign that they actually accused Ted Cruz of illegal activities and delivered a furious, tantrum-like statement after Cruz had been declared the winner.

Many are pointing to Cruz’s success in Wisconsin as evidence that the race is turning against Trump, and that the Republican voters are finally coalescing behind a single Republican candidate.

But even with the loss in Wisconsin, Trump still has a clear path to 1,237 delegates. The path is a little more narrow now, but it is still there.

Cruz beat Trump in Wisconsin.
Despite the enthusiasm at Trump rallies, Trump was thoroughly trounced in Wisconsin. [Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images News]
To win the nomination and avoid a contested GOP convention, Trump has to win two key toss-up states: Indiana and California. There’s some evidence that he is currently favored in both states.

The New York Times called Indiana “the most important state that no one is talking about.” It is one of the most balanced states left in the race, with a mixture of what is considered strengths for Trump and strengths for Cruz. It’s also somewhat similar to the two states where Trump and Cruz had their closest races so far: North Carolina and Missouri.

Because Indiana is a “winner-take-all” state, based on congressional district, whichever candidate takes it could easily claim almost all of the state’s 57 delegates with just a modest lead in actual votes.

There is little polling data coming out of Indiana right now. Cruz could be the favorite to win if he manages to get the same level of support among the so-called “never Trump” voters that he did in Wisconsin. But it is the kind of state where Trump is expected to approach or exceed 40 percent of the vote, compared to the 35 percent he took in Wisconsin. In addition to that, there is no guarantee that Kasich will fare as poorly as he did in Wisconsin. If he makes even a slight showing, he could easily break up the “never Trump” voters between himself and Cruz, thereby handing the delegates to Trump.

California does not hold its primary until June 7, so the polling done in that state may not yet be indicative of how that state may swing, especially in a race where nearly anything seems possible. However, three major polls show that Trump could, indeed, pull off California.

And the next states to vote, beginning with New York on April 19, followed by Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island on April 26, are looking good for Trump victories. The two states that have two big delegate hauls — New York and Pennsylvania — are polling strongly in favor of Trump. According to the latest RealClearPolitics polling averages, Trump leads Cruz by an astounding 34.3 points in New York (perhaps due to Cruz’s flippant “New York values” statements) and ahead of Kasich by 18 points in Pennsylvania.

Donald Trump's path is more narrow, but Ted Cruz's path is nearly impossible.
What is difficult for Trump is nearly impossible for Cruz. [Photo by Bloomberg/Contributor/Getty Images]
Furthermore, even with Trump getting trounced in Wisconsin, he continues to have a huge lead over Cruz in the delegate race, at a current 736 to 505. Losing out on those Wisconsin delegates hurt, and it makes it harder to get to that magical 1,237 delegates needed to garner the nomination without the drama and uncertainty of a contested GOP convention. But what is difficult for Trump is nearly impossible for Cruz.

So the narrative that Trump is over is, at this point, still premature.

Yes, there is no doubt that Trump lost and lost badly to Ted Cruz in Wisconsin. And it’s even more important to note that the Wisconsin primary was not just about the fact that Trump lost badly. That loss for Trump was also a clear win for Cruz. Cruz’s strong performance in Wisconsin might be an indicator that Wisconsin could very well be the turning point in the race for the Republican nomination.

But it may not be. That’s just as much a likelihood. And it will not be the turning point that many Republicans are hoping for if Cruz cannot continue to maintain such a huge share of the non-Trump vote.

So don’t dismiss Donald yet.

[Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images News]

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