The Number Of Delegates Donald Trump Needs Just Passed A Striking Milestone
Whatever name for Tuesday's slate of five northeastern primaries you preferred (the Acela primary, the Amtrak primary, Super Tuesday... Four, or something) it was without a doubt a decisive night for both parties. On the one hand, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton basically put the finishing touches on her insurmountable pledged delegate lead, and even though Sanders will likely stay in the race, his candidacy is more symbolic at this point than anything. And as for Trump, well, it's on ― if you're wondering how close Donald Trump is to the GOP nomination now, the simple answer is "altogether too close."
Despite the efforts of the Kasich and Cruz campaigns, Tuesday night was without a doubt the most dominant night of the billionaire businessman's presidential campaign, owing to his unbelievable victory margins. Trump won with solid majorites in every single state, including more than 60 percent of the vote in Connecticut and Rhode Island, breaking through all those months of talk about his "ceiling."
Basically, it seems like he's cresting at the perfect time, while the anti-Trump movement is starting to look like little more than a comedy of errors. And if you're looking for a takeaway statistic that really hammers this home, here's one from CBS News: Trump needs only 45 percent of the remaining delegates to lock down the nomination.
In other words, Trump doesn't even need to win a majority of the delegates left on the schedule, all while his two remaining rivals seem to be losing steam and sputtering to a halt. Heading into Tuesday, the Kasich and Cruz campaigns had reportedly struck a deal to strategically withdraw from certain states, in the hopes of blunting Trump's momentum. But the whole thing seemingly fell apart before it even got started, with Kasich refusing to publicly instruct his voters to back Cruz in Indiana. The Indiana primary is on May 3rd, and that's widely considered Cruz's last stand.
If this all sounds a bit worrying to you, you're not alone ― both conservative and progressive foes of Trump have been hoping his primary campaign would fade from memory long before we got to this point, but it simply seems as though the organization and counter-efforts came too little, too late. There's still a chance that Trump could fall short of the delegate threshold he needs to win the nomination on the Republican National Convention's first ballot, but it's getting harder and harder to envision ― on top of his commanding victories, the strongest anti-Trump candidate, Texas senator Ted Cruz, only picked up a trifling three delegates on Tuesday.
This is basically a long way of saying that if you've been silently (or loudly) waiting and stressing about the possibility of Donald J. Trump being one step closer to the White House ― one step closer to literally the most powerful job in the world ― you've got good reason to start throwing your panic into overdrive. It's not like he figures to be a competitive general election candidate considering his massive unpopularity with women, sure, but you never know for sure. It's still a harrowing, close call to have his name on the ballot at all come November 4th, and at this point that's the safest best going forward.