On Thursday May 26th, the Associated Press announced that Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has reached the magic number of delegates necessary to clinch his party’s nomination. The development comes after a small number of unbound Republican delegates told the AP that they would support Trump at the Republican National Convention this summer.
Trump’s Road to the Republican Nomination
In June 2015, when real estate billionaire Donald Trump announced that he was joining the host of candidates for the Republican Nomination for President he was considered to be either a “long shot” to gain the nomination or a joke. But throughout early 2016, Trump continued to gain momentum by dominating televised debates and social media. Trump’s masterful use of social media like Twitter, combined with brash comments allowed him to dominate the news cycle.
With public dissatisfaction for establishment politicians at an all-time high, Trump’s positioning himself as an “outsider” and “anti-establishment” was only helped by attacks from Mitt Romney and John McCain in early March. While initially Cruz had tried to assume the position of outsider, in February the International Business Times publicized the fact that “Ted Cruz’ wife Heidi was a “Goldman Sachs executive” and in March NPR announced, “Ted Cruz was part of the Bush legal team during the 2000 election”. This combined with support from the Republican establishment led many to believe that Cruz was not really “anti-establishment” after all.
Trump’s landslide win in New York on April 19, gave him 60% of the vote and allowed him to carry every county in the state but one. While only Manhattan went to Kasich. Cruz did not carry a single county and only gained 14.5% of the vote, perhaps due to his disparaging comments about “New York values” earlier in the race.
On April 24th Cruz and Kaisch made headlines by promising to help each other win Indiana, Oregon and New Mexico. But rather than help their cause it only served to make them appear desperate.
Only two days later, on April 26th Trump easily carried, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Cruz actually came in third in four of the races, and Trump beat him by an average of 43 points. Despite the fact that Kasich, did a bit better than in previous primaries and gained 5 of the 118 delegates up for grabs, at this point it was mathematically impossible for him to get the nomination.
On May 3, Trump garnered 53.3% of the Indiana vote and all 57 of its delegates. With this final blow, Cruz dropped out of the race admitting that there was no longer a viable path to victory. With Cruz out of the race, the Republican party establishment reluctantly admitted that Trump was now the “Presumptive Nominee” amid diehard cries of “Never Trump” from elected Republicans. However, as time went on elected Republicans began to realize that the wind was not in their favor so they began to capitulate and drop the “Never Trump” rhetoric.
May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor
The now famous saying, “May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor” from the movie Hunger Games somehow seems appropriate to Trump. Just as Katnis Everdeen battled the odds and the establishment Trump seems to be doing the same.
As you can see from the interactive chart below, even though several states are still up in the air, Trump has carried a substantial portion of the country when we look at it on a county by county basis.
CNN conducted an “interactive prediction” that allowed users to vote on what they think the outcome of the presidential election will be. Currently, the survey only gives Trump a 32% chance of winning in November. The British betting website OddsChecker gives Trump a 33.3% chance. At the same time, CNN gives Clinton a 71% chance of winning, and OddsChecker gives her a 69.2% chance. But so far Trump has consistently beat both the odds and the combined attacks of the establishment to gain the nomination.
However from May 22nd through this writing according to a Real Clear Politics Poll Clinton and Trump were running neck and neck. (This chart is interactive and updated daily).