The race for the Republican nomination is now down to 3 candidates. Marco Rubio was the latest figure to drop out when he failed to win his home state of Florida, leaving us with Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich who picked up a vital win in Ohio. Despite this victory for Kasich, Trump remains the clear front-runner.
Trump has a big lead in the delegate count but still has a hard task to reach the magic number of 1,237 delegates. Trump has to win a high percentage of the remaining delegates and could be held back by Cruz or Kasich who may benefit from Rubio’s exit. There is no certainty yet that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee.
In-spite of all the furore which has existed around Trump, he has hit a nerve in America. Regardless of the controversies and the scuffles which are happening with alarming regularity at his rallies, Trump’s numbers are solid. A significant proportion of the electorate believe in Trump and are loyal to him and support his position on building a wall and banning Muslims. These voters are angry and disillusioned and will not desert Trump; a man they believe is speaking their language.
This leaves the Republican hierarchy in a difficult position. They will know there are ways to stop Trump but will be wary of the consequences of doing this. The reputational damage of Trump running and the possible long-term damage has to be weighed against the electoral ramifications. If Trump fails to reach the delegates needed to automatically claim the nomination and is then blocked by the Republican Party then there is another possibility and that is Trump could run as a third party candidate.
Trump would use this stitch-up to his advantage insisting that he had been the victim of a grave injustice and needs to right this wrong. It is not feasible that Trump would win from this scenario but he could split the vote on the Right and take his voters with him and allow the Democratic candidate to come through and win. This is a headache the Republican Party could do without.
Whatever happens and nothing is finalised yet, Trump is not going to go quietly. That is not his style. However this ends and there are a few possibilities, one thing is for certain Donald Trump will be pivotal in the Presidential race. The Trump story has a few months to run yet and who would have predicted that at the start of the campaign.
Article by Mike Hough
Photograph – CNN