A growing sense of desperation from establishment Republicans to stop front-runner Donald Trump from winning the party’s nomination has been simmering for months. But it may be too little, too late for the businessman’s competition as the number of delegates up for grabs winnows in the primary season's final stretch and Trump looks to polish off his lead with wins in several delegate-rich states over the next two months.
Some Republicans have argued recently that Trump’s window to secure the 1,237 delegates necessary to clinch the party’s nomination outright has closed, but the math behind that rationale paints a different picture. Trump, who needs roughly 392 delegates to lock up the nomination and avoid a contested convention — assuming the party establishment doesn't change rules at the last minute to unbind delegates and allow them to vote for whomever they want — has a very narrow path forward to outright beat Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
“Trump is the only one who can mathematically win on the first ballot,” Ford O’Connell, who worked on Arizona Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, said. “Cruz and Kasich are mathematically eliminated."
“After Indiana and tomorrow we are really looking at Donald needing to clean up in California and New Jersey,” O’Connell said. “The problem is in May; the states in May, after Indiana, are not that favorable to Trump.”