Donald Trump’s wild ride may be coming to an end much sooner than he or his vocal supporters would like.
Though he still carries a dominant lead in the delegate count, Trump’s campaign is encountering ever-growing opposition, and has carried out a series of missteps that have proven him to be unprepared for the delegate process and woefully behind more seasoned opponents like Ted Cruz. Taken in total, political experts believe the miscues will doom Trump’s campaign and ensure that he doesn’t end up as the Republican nominee in November.
The biggest problem for the Trump campaign lately has come in his mishandling of the delegate process. Though he has racked up a number of important primaries and holds a lead in pledged delegates, experts say Trump’s campaign has completely fumbled the process of lining up delegates who will fight for him at the Republican National Convention this summer.
Trump’s problem comes in the total delegate count. If no candidate reaches the 50 percent threshold for pledged delegates awarded through the primary contests — and it seems increasingly likely that Trump will not reach that point — then the delegates will be released from their obligations at the convention and free to vote for whichever candidate they feel is best.
But Trump has been outsmarted by the Cruz campaign throughout this process, ensuring that even in districts where Trump has won, there will be delegates ready to pick his opponent after the first vote.
As Politico noted, those problems were on display in Colorado, where Trump’s campaign was seemingly unprepared for the process of selecting delegates.
“After firing the organizer initially put in charge of Colorado last week, Trump’s team hired Patrick Davis, a GOP operative from Colorado Springs, to put together a slate in an effort to win some of the delegate slots to be elected by just fewer than 4,000 party activists at Saturday’s assembly. Heading in, Cruz had already swept the seven assemblies held in the state’s congressional districts, each of which elect three delegates, giving him 21 of Colorado’s 34 elected delegates — a majority — before ballots hit the floor at the state convention.
“Trump’s last-minute organizing effort did not go well. The leaflet his campaign handed out listed a slate of 26 delegates. But in many cases the numbers indicating their ballot position — more than 600 delegates are running for 13 slots — were off, meaning that Trump’s team was mistakenly directing votes toward other candidates’ delegates.”
Donald Trump’s campaign has problems beyond the delegate mess. His controversial style has accumulated a growing number of opponents, including President Barack Obama, who this weekend said Trump is the culmination of a Republican strategy that prized opposition to his presidency over governing and presenting ideas.
“This notion that Donald Trump or Ted Cruz are outliers and that now suddenly the Republican establishment wants to—they’re embarrassed by them,” Obama said (via Politico).
“Why?” Obama posed. “They’re saying the same things that these members of the Freedom Caucus in the House have been saying for years. In fact, that’s where Trump got it. … He said, ‘You know what? I can deliver this message with more flair, with more panache.’ “
But amid the campaign difficulties, Donald Trump still has some major wins ahead. Polls show that Trump has a lead of more than 30 points over Ted Cruz in his home state of New York heading into next week’s primary, though experts say it will take a series of giant victories to ensure Trump crosses the threshold for avoiding a contested convention.
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