I have generally thought that it would be enormously difficult for Donald Trump to win on a second or later ballot in Cleveland, given his organizational weaknesses. Who knows, this might even be right! However, after tonight’s massive blowout it seems pretty clear that it’s a moot point:
Donald J. Trump is essentially two key states from the nomination.
By sweeping five states on Tuesday, he pulled only a few hundred Republican delegates short of the 1,237 he needs to win without a contested convention.
He has long been favored in the polls in two of the remaining primary states, New Jersey and West Virginia. That leaves Indiana and California as the crucial prizes that would put Mr. Trump over the top — and while he was once thought to be vulnerable in both states, polls have shown him with a modest lead.
One thing that has to greatly worry the anti-Trump forces is that Trump is now exceeding his poll averages. Since New York, Trump has performed at least 6.5 percentage points better in every state than the average of polls taken within 21 days of the election. Before that, Trump tended to hit his polling average and win no undecideds. Now, he’s winning his fair share of undecideds and then some. That’s very bad news for his opponents, given that Trump is already ahead in Indiana, a must-win state for Cruz.
He has a very good shot at 1,237 pledged delegates, and if not he’ll probably get close enough to lock it up on the first ballot. Living in a satirical novel is weird, but I guess eventually you get used to it.