Political Editors / March 23, 2016

Chance of Contested Convention Slims

Trump pulls further ahead in GOP race.

Donald Trump won Tuesday’s Arizona primary with 47.1% support, snatching up 58 delegates in the winner-take-all contest and increasing his delegate lead in the GOP primary race. His tough-talk on immigration resounded with Republicans in the closed-primary state, showing he has support among rank-and-file Republicans, not just crossover independents and Democrats. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz rode out of Utah with 40 delegates and 69.2% support because of its very conservative and religious voters. John Kasich was the true loser of the night, as he came in fourth place in the three-man race in Arizona. Thanks to early voting, former candidate Marco Rubio received more votes than “the prince of light and hope.”

With Trump picking up more delegates, the chances of a contested convention are becoming more and more remote. RNC member Randy Evans told The Wall Street Journal he sees a one-in-three chance that the July convention will be contested.

Meanwhile in the Democrat primary, Bernie Sanders won Utah and Idaho by 79.7% and 78%, respectively. Clinton, though, won Arizona by appealing to minority voters. While Clinton has the lead among Democrats and the easiest path to the nomination, Sanders shows that his campaign’s prediction that he’d be popular in the West is coming true. The inevitable candidate Clinton will ride into the nomination with a thinner lead than she would have ever dared envision a year ago.

Moving forward, the Sanders campaign expects to pick up more momentum in races in Alaska and Washington. Kasich — who took a $200,000 donation from leftist billionaire George Soros — is looking to pick up a few delegates in northern states and their moderate Republicans. These are the two candidates a Quinnipiac poll suggests would do well in a general election. Unlike Clinton and Trump, they don’t have the highest percentage of Americans who say they “would definitely not” vote for them. Still, these are sideshow races compared to the Clinton v. Trump showdown that is further crystalizing.

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