Donald Trump predicted Wednesday that there will possibly be "riots" at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland if he wins a plurality of delegates in the primaries but is not given the presidential nomination.
If neither Trump nor Sen. Ted Cruz can reach a 1,237-delegate majority--Ohio Governor John Kasich is still in the race, but it is mathematically impossible for him to clear that threshold at this point--he could easily be denied the nomination at the convention. Trump's supporters have warned such a move could divide the Republican Party.
Cruz has also cautioned the party about the risks of a contested convention.
Republican strategist Ford O'Connell acknowledged that there is "some resentment" between Trump and the party establishment that both sides will need to work together to overcome.
"There's a lot of people who don't know what to think at the current moment," he said. He cautioned against taking the exit poll data at face value, though. If Trump wins the nomination and proves his potential for the general election, some of the hesitation to support him will subside.
According to O'Connell, the #NeverTrump Republicans are a small but vocal faction of the party. If internal opposition to Trump ultimately costs the GOP the election, it could also allow a Democratic president to install a liberal majority on the Supreme Court that will last decades.
"The idea that you would cut off your nose to spite yourself seems a little childish to me," he said.