With so many wins, it appears Donald Trump is on his way to the Republican Convention in July with the hopes of walking away with the party’s nomination. The primary results on March 15 seem to only further cemented that reality.
But not so fast.
KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross with Seattle’s Morning News and conservative voice Michael Medved joined the Jason Rantz Show after March 15 results were announced. According to the two men on the opposite sides of the political spectrum, the Republican Convention will likely be a contested one, with no clear candidate. Trump could still have an uphill battle ahead of him.
Dave notes that Rubio’s loss in Florida probably shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise. He said Rubio “shot himself in the foot” when he took the low road against Trump, and that as a senator he has not been very popular.
“He was elected in a Tea Party wave but did not deliver any results to his constituency,” Ross said.
Despite Trump’s momentum, Ross doesn’t believe the candidate from New York can make it to the Republican Convention with a clear win. That, however, does not mean he won’t get the nomination. Ross believes his popularity and momentum could easily translate into a nomination.
“The bigger question is that if it is a contested convention … contested on what grounds? Kasich won Ohio. But there are no other Ohios for him to win,” Ross said. “We now turn to Arizona. I think Donald Trump is probably going to win in Arizona based on his stance on immigration. We start talking about big states like Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York where Donald Trump owns a lot of real estate — he’ll probably do pretty well there. I have a feeling California is not Ted Cruz country.
“(Trump) may not emerge with an absolute majority, but I think it would be very difficult to take the nomination away from him when he comes out with a lion share of the states,” he said.
Medved, as a conservative, sees things differently. He believes that Trump won’t get enough delegates to earn a nomination, and further, he won’t be able to nab a nomination after that.
“In order to win the necessary 1,237 delegates (Trump) would need for first ballot victory, Mr. Trump would have to win 60 percent of all remaining delegates. Given that he has so far won 45 percent of the delegates, he would have to be gaining momentum, when all evidence says he’s losing momentum.”
Medved notes that even in Florida where Trump won, he has failed to win over all Republicans. For example, Medved said, late voters didn’t sway toward Trump.
“Which is an indication that the more people think about Donald Trump, the less enthusiastic they are. Which I find reassuring.”
Medved argues that the 1,237 delegates is not a random number. It’s a majority.
“The reason that is such a relevant number is that most of these primaries, virtually all of them, have been referenda on one issue. The issue isn’t immigration or trade or war or peace — the issue is Donald Trump,” Medved said. “The overwhelming majority of Republicans, nearly two-thirds of Republicans have voted ‘no’ on Donald Trump. Even in the states he’s doing well in tonight, he’s well below a majority.”
“You say how can you ignore all the people voting for him. I say how can you ignore the people who aren’t,” he said.
That leads to the question: Who will then get the Republican nomination for president, if not Trump?
Medved speculates that House Speaker Paul Ryan is one clear candidate. But that’s not all.
“The feeling in the party, generally across all ideological and regional lines, is Paul Ryan. The speaker of the House has already been vetted. He’s well-known. He does not have real enemies,” Medved said.
“The other name I have heard talked about,” he said. “And people are very serious about it to run against Hillary Clinton — who will very clearly be the Democratic nominee — is (Governor of South Carolina) Nicki Haley.”
Listen to Michael Medved and Dave Ross’ full opinions on the March 15 primaries