Trumping Trump

Trumping Trump

This past week, Donald Trump almost swept all 11 states on Super Tuesday, winning Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. It seems like Donald Trump simply can’t be stopped.

After Super Tuesday, Donald Trump now has about 329 delegates, which is about 900 delegates short of the nomination. Ted Cruz, after winning Texas, has a solid second place at about 230 delegates. Marco Rubio followed at third place with 110 delegates. It seems hopeless that Trump is winning with a 100 delegate lead, and it is, but there is still a chance that Trump could lose the nomination.

For example, with all of the delegates that have been won since Super Tuesday, the anti-Trump candidates (e.g. Cruz, Rubio and Kasich) have more delegates than Trump himself. That means up until now, Donald Trump has been unable to secure a majority of delegates, only a plurality.

But so what? Whoever gets the most delegates by the end of the primaries gets the nomination, right?

Not so fast. A candidate needs a majority of delegates to win the nomination, or 1,237 delegates or more, and although it looks really good for Trump now, it may not be in the near future. According to CNBC, the upcoming competitions may not be as hospitable to Trump as the ones that have already happened. Most of the primaries have happened in Southern states, but now that Super Tuesday has come and gone, what’s left are a variety of non-Southern states.

Two of the biggest states left to win are Ohio and Florida. Luckily, Florida is Rubio’s home turf and Ohio is Kasich’s. Florida is one of the biggest states left to win with 99 delegates, and Ohio has 66 delegates. What’s more is that after March 15, or the day of the Florida primary, presidential primaries are winner-take-all. If Marco Rubio wins Florida, he would immediately close the 100 delegate gap between him and Cruz.

Kasich’s best strategy is to not only win his home state of Ohio, but also his neighboring states. Illinois has 69 delegates up for grabs, Michigan with 59 and Indiana with 57. If he wins at least one of these, he could very well boot Rubio out of his establishment front-runner status.

For moderate Republicans though, the best way to beat Trump is for both of these things to happen. Not only does Rubio have to win his own state, but Kasich needs to win at least some of the Midwest. With 703 delegates already allocated, all 284 of the Midwest and Florida delegates can make a big impact.

Ultimately, each anti-Trump candidate can box out Donald Trump by not letting him get to 1,237. This would lead to a brokered convention which would allow the delegates to vote for who they believe is the right candidate.