With GOP frontrunner Donald J. Trump losing by double digits in Wisconsin on April 5th to Texas Senator Ted Cruz, the presidential race for Republicans looks increasingly likely to be decided at a contested nominating convention in July. At least, that seems to be the consensus opinion of most of the media.

According to Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight, Tuesday night’s results were problematic for Trump in terms of amassing the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination. Though Trump remains the man to beat, the analytics site concludes that the numbers do not add up positively for Trump, picking up only 6 delegates in Badger State. That poor showing, along with the zero he received in the Utah caucus in late March, could prove disastrous if Cruz can capitalize on the Donald’s recent downward trend. The latest estimate has the commercial real estate developer getting 1,179 to 1,182 delegates overall, or about 55 short of the amount needed. 

Will Trump be handed the nomination if he is close enough? Highly unlikely. The GOP sees Trump as the ultimate threat to their system of power that has been in place for some time in Washington DC. Therefore, they will do anything and everything in their power to stop him. Influential conservative voice, Charles Krauthammer said earlier last year that if Trump was within 100 delegates of 1,237, he should be given the nomination and would not be “stealing” it in any way. Whether or not this would actually happen is up for debate as the Republican Party is essentially a private organization that writes it’s owns rules, but if Cruz continues his “momentum” after winning Wisconsin and Utah, and denies Trump big wins in the upcoming New York and California primaries, Trump will definitely be denied the nomination.

Ted Cruz is similarly hated by the GOP establishment, leading to names such as House Speaker and Wisconsinite, Paul Ryan, being thrown around as a possibility on the second ballot as the conservative consensus candidate at the convention if Trump fails to get to the magical number. If Trump does not win all the delegates needed on the first ballot cast at the convention, he will surely be left without the Republican nomination as many more delegates will no longer be bound to the will of the voters.

Is Trump any different than the hoards of politicians who preceded him? Stephen Lendman of alternative news site, Rense, does not seem to think so.Trump is like the rest. His unorthodox style makes him appear different. He didn’t become a billionaire by being anti-establishment.” While Trump comes across as an everyman and a billionaire at the same time, he has been rich since birth and has made good friends in high places. Is that a crime?

His past with the Clintons has been well documented, but he was only doing what he had to do to make his business more profitable. Until the last nine months, when he decided to be a full-time politician, Trump’s primary pursuit was profits. He has not concerned himself with domestic and foreign policy too much. And why would you when you are trying to make as much money as possible?

“His one redeeming quality,” Lendman continues, “is he’s less likely to start WW III than Clinton. As a businessman, he’d rather make money than war, but make no mistake … Trump won’t change a thing.” A contested convention, during which Republican elite crown someone other than Trump as their nominee would be disastrous for the party. Trump is far and away the preferred candidate over anyone else at this point. His unfavorable numbers are concerning, sure, but put next to Hillary Clinton’s in the general election, combined with the likely higher GOP turnout, and Trump looks to be much more competitive. “Perhaps Republican power brokers prefer her to a Trump administration,” Lendman pointed out. This would prove that politicians of both parties care about one thing, and one thing only — power. And, that there is no such thing as party loyalty. Clinton does fit the bill for many neoconservatives — aggressive foreign policy and not far too left on economic or domestic policy.

The million dollar question remains whether the likes of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and others of the GOP establishment class will continue to “support” Ted Cruz as the nominee in order to stop the Trump train from reaching its final destination after the first ballot is cast at the convention.

Deena Stryker in Near Eastern Outlook believes that a “Second US Revolution is starting” and it is happening night after night in front of our very eyes on the cable news shows. “A big, sexually active, square-jawed billionaire decides a weekly TV show isn’t enough to feed his ego, so he runs for the presidency, getting 24 hour coverage.” Trump’s rise to the top of the political world proves how media-driven our culture is today. His mastery of the 21st century Twitter-dominated world of marketing and messaging to those with 30-second attention spans has resulted in his cult-like following among 30-40% of the Republican base. His off-the-cuff remarks, unscripted speeches, and provocative social media and television presence have been much more effective in garnering support than the standard TV commercial political ad. Will Trump’s effort to upend the GOP fall short of completing the revolution on the right?

Trump’s disregard for political correctness and laser sharp focus on hot button issues such as immigration, trade, and radical Islamic terrorism, have helped fuel the flaming fire that has been the billionaire’s campaign. Whether this fire will burn out on it’s own or grow out of control remains to be seen.  

Still, a majority of the Republican party seems to be on the #NeverTrump bandwagon. This is warranted behavior. They are able to voice their own opinions. But, many resort to dismissive name-calling, lobbing the “fascist, racist, sexist,” label on him without delving into exactly why he would not be a great Presdient. One shudders to wonder what a Trump presidency would look like. Unpredictable. Erratic. Effective? The Donald himself probably wonders the same!

Lendman, again in Rense (usually very pro-Trump), aims to paint the picture of what President Trump would do in his first 100 days of office. No, he’s not going to repeal every word of Obamacare on day one, as that would be impossible. The next president is, however, likely to inherit a recession or an economy in a slowdown en route to a recession. The next president will have to find out how to bring back high paying jobs to America and discover ways to bring millions out of poverty. This kind of cloudy economic situation is suited for a businessman. A billionaire real estate developer and reality television star, perhaps?

In Trump’s first 100 days, he claimed he would cut taxes (for businesses and households) and “re-negotiate trade deals and military deals.” Our tax code certainly needs updating and simplifying while our military definitely needs scaling back and streamlining. Donald’s no bullshit persona and self-interest driven work ethic coming from the private sector could be just what our bloated bureaucracy needs in DC to finally be more responsive to the voters. Lendman concludes that a “Trump administration will w continue dirty business as usual. So will Hillary Clinton if she succeeds Obama, neither aspirant addressing vital needs of ordinary people. Americans are ill-served … Their needs and welfare don’t matter.” Politicians care only about one thing — maintaining their grip on power. They campaign promising to do one thing, then go to Washington and do the complete opposite! Trump is promising much and most of that will need to be implemented by executive order, a strategy, I’m sure Trump would be more than comfortable to implement. Would a Trump administration clean up Washington at last or be more of the same? Obama came in promising a lot of hope and change and bringing together the two parties for America, but the Capitol has become even more divisive and deficient during his eight years at the helm. 

Could the Donald Trump campaign of 2015-2016 all end up being one big bad dream for American conservatives? That all depends on how it comes to an end, or if it continues with Trump as the nominee. His path to the nomination remains open before the end of the primary season on June 7th. The Daily Caller charts out his narrowing path in a recent article. Trump currently stands 494 delegates short of the nomination. There are over 200 delegates up for grabs on April 19th and 26th in Trump-friendly states such as his home state of New York, nearby Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, a 71 delegate winner-take-all state, where Trump is polling over 13-14% ahead of Cruz and Kasich, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average. However, it is important to note that 54 of Pennsylvania’s delegates are unbound to any candidate going into the first ballot of the GOP convention. The other 17 from the state are winner-take-all on a statewide basis.

Each state has its own sets of rules and regulations on delegates and party protocol. It’s near impossible to know it all. What is possible to know is that Trump will win a majority of delegates in these states voting in the end of April as he has performed very well for the most part in the Northeast. He is polling very well in New York with over 50% in the last five polls over the last month with about 30% between him and Mr. Cruz.

So now let’s say that Trump has around 940 delegates at the end of April. And May seems to be another month that could be good for Trump in terms of amassing delegates. But he still needs to lock down almost 300 more delegates before the end of the California primary on June 7th.

Trump would do well to win in Indiana, West Virginia, Oregon, and Washington, all states that could likely go Trump. Nothing comes easy during this primary season though. Nebraska is a winner-take-all state, and its 36 delegates will likely go to Cruz in this conservative state. With Trump wins in the four states mentioned before the Cornhusker State, he could add around 115 delegates in May, or 38% of the remaining 300 or so. The remaining 200 delegates will have to come from the final states voting in early June.

New Mexico and New Jersey seem to be states that will go Trump as well. Though New Jersey could deliver Trump 51 delegates following Gov. Christie’s endorsement in the winner-take-all state, that, and the New Mexico win would not quite put him over the top. Cruz will likely win the state of Montana and wind up well short of Trump with nowhere near a majority of support of the party. 

California then becomes the final showdown for Trump v. the GOP establishment. There are over 172 delegates up for grabs in the state, but, as The Daily Caller clarifies, the details can get dicey. The billionaire would need to obtain the 13 delegates awarded to the winner of the state overall based on the winner-take-all votes. He would also need to win enough districts that are awarded on a winner-take-all by congressional district basis. So, if Trump does not derail his candidacy from now until June 7th, he would need to pick up around 120 or so delegates in California. Therefore, Trump would need to secure about 74% of California’s congressional districts.

This scenario is not far out of the realm of possibility over these next few months. But, even if Trump does not get the amount needed, he can still woo enough delegates before the votes are cast at the convention in Cleveland in July. Meanwhile, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who currently has more delegates committed to him than John Kasich, is fighting to keep his 171 delegates bound to him on the first ballot in an unprecedented effort to stop Trump. Former House Speaker and Presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, says there is zero chance the nominee for the party is not Trump or Cruz

We’ll see if he is right.

For the New York billionaire to silence the many critics predicting the coming contested convention, he must win the delegates required to secure the nomination before the big event in mid-July. Too bad he didn’t even know how the presidential political game was played. Delegates matter. Votes by Republican voters nationwide do not. He has a narrowing path, but a path nonetheless. If he can turn the recent controversial wave of delegates from Colorado going to Cruz without the state even bothering to have votes of any kind, he could use these recent losses to his advantage, proving how politics is rigged in the favor of those who already have the power.  West Coast states will finally have of a say in selecting the nominee for a major political party, but will their delegates reflect the will of the voters? 

The current political system surely needs some sort of destruction and it seems to be coming in the form of Donald Trump, and in a sense, Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side. The Democratic Socialist from Vermont has won eight of the last nine contests, but has won about the same amount of delegates over that time, and remains fair behind Hillary Clinton. 

It is jarring to have a Trump, a breath of fresh air while also a potential threat to liberty and the Constitution. What a conundrum. 

Is the primary process a sham and rigged to protect a wild card from taking over the party? Our two major party system is a mess and needs retooling over time. Taking it all at once in the form of Trump and Sanders is quite an amount to absorb. 

Over the next few months, we will find out whether our form of democracy is a government for the people or the special interests and party elite.  

Featured image courtesy of Pixabay.

About The Author

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Freelance writer and researcher in Seattle, WA area. Work covers current political, economic, and national security related events. Objective angle strived for, but biases show on occasion. Emphasis on the individual over the state, freedom to make one's own decisions over forcing behavior by the barrel of a gun, and rule of law over crony capitalism/politics as usual. 2016 presidential election and current events in historical context are topics delved into at length.