While the news media continues to report on how Republicans can’t stomach Donald Trump, the New York billionaire continues to rack up wins and accumulate delegates. Reaching the necessary 1,237 delegates to claim the nomination may be difficult for Trump, but he is the only candidate with a reasonable shot at winning the nomination outright.
Trump won contests in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and the Northern Mariana Islands on Tuesday. The only blemish on the night was Ohio, where John Kasich, the current governor of the state, won with 47 percent of the vote and took home all 66 delegates. Even still, Trump was able to hold the home state governor under 50 percent and garnered 36 percent of the vote for himself.
Kasich, who finally won a state on Tuesday, has no possible route to accumulate the necessary delegates to win the nomination. Regardless, by preventing Trump from getting Ohio’s 66 delegates, Kasich makes it more difficult for Trump to get the delegates he needs. The problem for Kasich is that he probably can’t post a win anywhere else. On Tuesday night, he announced he was headed to neighboring Pennsylvania. While the move makes plenty of sense, a quick look at the Ohio results map shows that Trump won counties all along the eastern portion of Ohio that borders Pennsylvania.
If Trump was again the big winner, Florida Senator Marco Rubio was the big loser. Rubio was trounced in his home state, losing to Trump by 19 points. In fact, Rubio only carried Miami-Dade County. It was evident that Rubio wasn’t surging in his home state, but such a lop-sided loss has to sting. Rubio clearly saw the writing on the wall and announced he was suspending his campaign early in the night.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz repeatedly says that he is the only credible alternative to Donald Trump in the Republican presidential race. He also likes to say that he is the only candidate who has “repeatedly” beaten Trump. While both statements are factual, Cruz continues to fall behind Trump in the delegate count, and there doesn’t appear to be a roadmap that would actually allow him to edge out the New York billionaire for Republican nomination. Once again, Cruz was competitive with Trump in states like Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina, but he failed to pull out an actual victory.
Despite not winning any state on Tuesday, Cruz will continue to accumulate delegates, but he needs to beat Trump in a primary contest if he ever hopes to derail Trump. The upcoming calendar also isn’t favorable to Cruz. His best chance to post a victory will be next Tuesday when Utah voters caucus, but Trump is expected to win Arizona. The month of April is comprised of only primaries and the friendliest turf for Cruz is Wisconsin.
Even though it currently appears possible to prevent Trump from getting the1237 delegates he needs, the pressure is still on Kasich and Cruz to find places to win. The month of April, in which New York, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin vote poses a difficult obstacle for the Cruz campaign to maneuver. With every win Trump gets, the more he is able to pull away from Cruz in the delegate count, and the more inevitable Trump becomes.