Will Trump Keep Trumping?

Picture this: March 2015. The weather is alternating from warm to cold more often than most people go shopping for groceries. President Barack Obama has a year and a half left in his presidency and, while there is speculation of who may run for president, no one is certain. Then, after the months of speculation, on June 16, 2015, Donald Trump officially announces that he will run under the Republican Party for President of the United States of America.

At the beginning of his campaign most American citizens wondered whether Trump’s announcement was a joke. Now, nearly 9 months later, Trump is leading the other Republican candidates in the polls. He has formed a campaign on the promise to “make America great again,” which was also the promise of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

The voters siding with Trump come from various backgrounds. However, a majority of them are fed up with the Obama administration. They feel that Obama has focused more on the poor and minority groups than on America as a whole. Trump’s supporters are also sick of politicians, so seeing a businessman like Trump provides them a breath of fresh air.

At this point, Trump is running against Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, and Governor John Kasich of Ohio. After 23 primaries, Trump led the way with 458 delegates, while Cruz held a steady second with 359 delegates. Rubio held third place with 151 delegates, and Kasich trailed in fourth with 54.

On March 1, 2016, “Super Tuesday,” Trump won 7 out of 11 states in Republican primaries. Cruz won 3 of the states, and Rubio won 1. So while it is undeniably true that Trump is the Republican frontrunner, he is not invincible. Only 8 of the 23 states that have cast their primary votes run under a closed primary system instead of an open primary system. (A “closed primary” means that a person has to register with a party affiliation when he or she registers to vote. This permits them to vote solely in the primary associated with their party identification. An open primary allows someone to vote without declared party identification.) In the 8 closed primaries Trump only won two out of eight, and Cruz has won the other six. So the question in everyone’s mind is: can one of the other candidates win the nomination?

Quite simply, the answer is yes—the other candidates have a chance, though it is a narrow one. The next group of primaries will be based on the “winner takes all” system where it does not matter if the candidate only got 30% of the vote—if 30% is the highest amount of the vote that any candidate got then he will receive all of the delegates for that state. Rubio must win Florida to stay in the race. If Rubio grabs the 99 delegates in Florida he will almost guarantee that Trump will not be able to get the 1,237 delegates required to win the nomination due to the small amount of delegates that will still be available after Florida

Cruz also needs to bring his A-game to the upcoming primaries. He needs to focus on winning Missouri and North Carolina, under the assumption that Trump will focus on stealing Florida from Rubio as well as winning Illinois because Illinois is the only open primary in this group—which means Independents and Democrats will be able to vote. The open primaries are where Trump has been shining. If Cruz is feeling extra gutsy, perhaps he will make the bid for Illinois as well to try and grab those electorate votes.

If Cruz and Rubio are able to gain the states laid out above, there is a chance that Trump will not get the nomination. The question left on the table right now is: Can Rubio and Cruz stop Trump, or is it just too little too late?

Sources: Theatlantic.com, Politico.com

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