By Sal Bommarito
The biggest news regarding the Republican primaries is the growing discontent of the conservative establishment about Trump’s success and persona.
Many members of the group believe if Trump wins the nomination, it would negatively impact the party for decades. Many are questioning Trump’s conservative credentials, the specifics of his proposals and his belligerent attitude towards immigrants, women and leaders of his own party.
It’s not exactly clear whether the establishment is more concerned about his ability to defeat Hillary Clinton or the damage he would do if he won the White House, or both. In the meantime, those Republicans that will be running alongside Trump may be collateral damage if the general election is unkind to Trump.
The evidence of a cabal to sabotage Trump is a little sketchy to say the least and has materialized pretty late in the game. The Donald has been shellacking his opponents in the primaries. Cruz and Rubio, strangely enough, were encouraged by their pathetic performances this Tuesday and have indicated they are in the race for the long haul. Exacerbating the situation is a similar attitude of Kasich who has designs on the Ohio primary; he is governor of the state.
The only feasible way to stop Trump is to not allow him to rack up enough delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot of the convention. The current delegate count is:
A nominee must win 1,237 delegates to capture the nomination, out of a possible 2,472. There are 1,777 unallocated delegate remaining, so Trump must win at least 918 more delegates to be the victor going into the convention.
Cruz, Rubio and Kasich must jointly win 861 of the unallocated delegates during the ensuing primaries to prevent a first ballot win for Trump.
There are two winner-take-all states that are critical to the outcome of the primaries; they are Florida (99 delegates) and Ohio (66 delegates). The former is Rubio’s home state, and the latter is Kasich’s home state. It will be virtually impossible to stop Trump if he wins either of these large states.
But, let’s consider the improbable. Supposedly, some large Super Pacs are joining forces, supported by wealthy Republican donors, to do a media blitz against Trump. These efforts could be enough to derail Trump in the coming weeks.
If Trump cannot amass 1,237 delegates before the first ballot at the convention, delegates would generally be free to vote for another person, including someone who has not been active in the primaries.
An interesting person would be Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House. Of course, the Cruz and Rubio camps would go bananas if such a movement surfaced at the convention.