In his victory speech on Tuesday, after sweeping all five of the Northeast primaries, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump declared himself the “presumptive nominee.” And as much as his cadre of clapping seals liked it, the statement is, like most things out of Donald’s mouth, self-serving …and wholly untrue.
Let me take a moment to give a personal aside to his Trumptastic presumptuousness.
You see, Donald, despite winning in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, you still lack the 1,237 delegates required to secure the nomination.
It is true that his last remaining challengers, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, cannot gain enough delegates to win outright before the convention, but that does not mean that Trump wins by default with a plurality. His Trumpness mustn’t assume he wins just because his competition cannot claim the crown before the convention– because neither can he.
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Permit my esteemed friend Ben Shapiro to explain below:
Now, that being said, IF Trump triumphs in Indiana and California his presumption will become reality.
But a mighty big obstacle sits in his way, he will not “Cruz” to victory, if you catch my drift.
The Texas senator has an impressive grassroots operation focused on electing delegates who are friendly to Cruz. This is a stroke of tactical brilliance, so long as it does not distract from winning the two remaining states to block Trump’s nomination.
On the first ballot at the convention, all pledged delegates will be obligated to vote in the way their states decided. These are the numbers you’ve seen tossed about everywhere: Trump 950, Cruz 560, Kasich 153. BUT after the first ballot, those delegates can start to decide for themselves.
And this is precisely why it matters who the delegates actually are. This is the game Cruz has been cleverly winning. Meaning if Cruz and Kasich succeed in forcing a convention, Cruz and not Trump, will be in position to clinch the GOP nomination on the second or third ballot.
And already we’ve seen Cruz move in a direction to block Trump in California, which will play a crucial role in determining whether or not a convention nomination will be needed.
By announcing Carly Fiorina as his choice for a runningmate if nominated, he sends a clear signal to California that he has them in mind. Fiorina is very popular with West Coast Republicans, and connected enough to possibly bring much needed support for the June GOP primary in the Golden State.
And California’s 172 delegates could be enough for their primary to play the role of king maker. In fact if Cruz does well enough in California he could even overcome losses in Indiana and Nebraska if misfortune befell him there in May.
It’s a hearty enough amount to either allow Trump to cross the threshold before the convention, or block him and force a second ballot, in which the current under dog becomes the favorite to become the nominee.
The bottom line is that Trump presumes too much by asserting his status as a nominee in waiting, because this fight isn’t over by a long shot.