We’ve been calling GOP frontrunner Donald Trump the presumptive nominee for weeks, ever since last remaining rivals Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich dropped out. Now, Trump has finally passed the delegate threshold required to clinch his party’s nomination. So, will Trump even bother to keep campaigning?
Trump needed 1,237 delegates for an uncontested nomination. As of Thursday morning, he has 1,238; the Associated Press reported that a handful of unbound delegates, including Oklahoma GOP chairwoman Pam Pollard, declared their support to carry Trump over the finish line. There are still big primaries so come — such as California on June 7 — but Trump no longer needs them in any real sense.
The question of whether Trump really needs to keep campaigning has been circling us since he became the last GOP man standing weeks ago. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the celebrity billionaire will watch the rest of the race from Trump Tower. It would look atrocious for him to sit on his much-talked about hands for the next few weeks, though it’s actually not without something like a precedent; it was just earlier this month that Trump told supporters in West Virginia to “go home” because he had enough votes and theirs didn’t matter.
Thus, while it may look bad if Trump stops campaigning, the Donald is never one to worry about keeping up appearances — and he doesn't have much reason to, either? Nothing much else affects his popularity with his base – if he can say that he could shoot people down in the street and his loyal followers wouldn’t care, why would they care that he stops making an effort for them? If the West Virginia trial run was any indication, it wouldn’t change all that much among the Trump faithful.
As of this writing, the Twitter-happy frontrunner has yet to comment on the updated delegate count. Not even to mock Cruz, who told a Philadelphia radio host last month that "We are headed to a contested convention. At this point, nobody is getting 1,237. Donald is going to talk all the time about other folks not getting to 1,237. He's not getting there, either." With his current delegate count, Trump may have proven his nickname for Cruz: Lying' Ted, indeed.