Donald Trump is crushing his competition in the delegate count and polls of the large upcoming states, but it may come down to the real estate magnate’s famous deal-making ability to determine whether he actually wins the Republican nomination.
Since the moment he entered the race, Trump has topped the polls, and once February came he also dominated the primaries. He now has what will likely be an insurmountable lead over Ted Cruz and John Kasich, but has fallen off the pace to win the 50 percent of delegates needed to win the nomination outright and avoid a contested convention that seems increasingly likely and could take the nomination away from him.
Even amid his wins, Trump’s campaign has shown signs that it will not be able to win a second vote at the Republican National Convention this summer, meaning Cruz could likely steal the nomination from under Trump.
Facing this crushing loss, Donald Trump has gone on the offensive. He blasted the Republican Party Convention in Colorado, where Cruz outhustled Trump to win all of the state’s delegates.
In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Trump also blasted Cruz for his efforts to steal the nomination despite losing the popular vote.
“My campaign strategy is to win with the voters. Ted Cruz’s campaign strategy is to win despite them.
“What we are seeing now is not a proper use of the rules, but a flagrant abuse of the rules. Delegates are supposed to reflect the decisions of voters, but the system is being rigged by party operatives with ‘double-agent’ delegates who reject the decision of voters.”
But despite Trump’s very public displeasure with the process, it seems likely that he won’t be able to stop the party from stealing the nomination out from under him, Salon‘s Jim Newell wrote. That leaves it up to Trump to try to win over the party’s unpledged delegates, an absolute necessity to put him over the top.
For a businessman who has prided himself on his ability to win negotiations and make deals, it would be the ultimate test.
“His disorganization in selecting loyal convention delegates from the states he’s already won means he has little chance of winning the nomination if it extends beyond a first convention ballot, and winning on the first ballot will likely rest on his ability to woo some not-insignificant number of scattered unbound delegates to his corner,” Newell wrote.
Even as the process plays out and the party lays the groundwork to take the nomination away from him, Donald Trump could complicate the issue with his continued dominance in polls. A Fox News national poll released this week shows that he has taken his largest-ever lead over Ted Cruz, now leading 45 percent to 27 percent among GOP primary voters.
That has shot up in the last three weeks — the same time period that Trump was losing the Wisconsin primary to Cruz and the GOP’s plans to block him out were coming together. When the same poll was last released at the end of March, Trump held just a three-point lead over Cruz, 41 percent to 38 percent.
Donald Trump is poised to dominate in Tuesday’s contest in New York, with polls showing him holding a commanding lead over Cruz and Kasich. A new NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll found that Trump had 54 percent support in his home state.
Big wins in New York and some of the other big states to come — including New Jersey and California — would be able to put Donald Trump near the delegate threshold, a mark it appears he will need to reach if he wants to secure the nomination. If not, it will be up to Trump’s negotiation skills to win over unpledged delegates.
[Image via Instagram/Donald Trump]