How Many Delegates Does Donald Trump Need To Win The Republican Nomination? March 15 Closes The Gap
Ah, delegate math. It's the part of every election year that writing-savvy commentators hate to love and love to hate, but it's becoming more and more important as the nominating conventions draw nearer and candidates start to run out of states to win. So far, it seems like real estate tycoon Donald Trump has pretty much run away with the Republican delegate count, amassing hundreds more than his competitors. Remember, though: It's not over until a Republican candidate reaches a majority of delegates, and Trump still needs several hundred delegates to win the nomination outright.
On Tuesday, the third "Super Tuesday" in a row, Trump picked up at least 99 delegates by winning Florida's winner-take-all primary. That brought his total delegate count to 568, before the night had even ended. At that time, he led his closest competitor, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, by nearly 200 delegates.
Although claiming more than 500 delegates sounds impressive, it's not enough to consider Trump the GOP's nominee — at least, not yet. To win the nomination without any crazy convention antics, a candidate needs to earn 1,237 delegates. That's more than double what Trump had to his name as of early Tuesday night, but there's no doubt that he's in a better position than any candidate to snatch those delegates up.
With Florida's delegates in tow, Trump is one of just two candidates who could reach the nomination by winning all of the remaining delegates left up for grabs. Cruz is the second. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who picked up 66 delegates by winning his home state on Tuesday, could no longer reach the 1,237-delegate threshold even if he were to claim every remaining delegate available. With more than half of the delegates allocated and more numbers still up in the air on Tuesday night, Trump needed at most 669 delegates to add to his cache.
That doesn't mean the rest of the race is smooth sailing for Trump. He needs roughly 60 percent of the remaining delegates in order to secure the nomination. After winning Florida, Trump had won fewer than 50 percent of the delegates awarded. Although his lead my seem overwhelming, the math shows that he still has an uphill battle ahead of him. Granted, the field has narrowed substantially over the course of those previous primaries, with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio suspending his campaign on Tuesday night after losing in Florida. Rubio's candidates are likely up for grabs, which could change the game for a candidate.