GOP race down to three candidates: will one prevail before Cleveland?

With Marco Rubio’s recent surge in the polls making the Republican presidential nomination campaign a three-candidate race according to most experts, questions are starting to be raised about the possibility of a “brokered” GOP convention at Cleveland in July.

Although Donald Trump has won a lion’s share of the delegates allocated to-date, some critics question the New York billionaire’s viability to win outright against a defined field which includes an “establishment” Republican like Sen. Rubio, and Ted Cruz, a Tea Party favorite.

Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, Jake Tapper raised this issue in an interview with the GOP frontrunner.

“I don’t think we’re going to have a . . . brokered convention,” Trump responded. “I think it’s unlikely. I think I’m doing better than that, and so far, you know, I’m really on my way.”

“Interestingly, the ones who say there’s going to be a [brokered] convention — usually they’re the pundits that have been wrong forever, the ones who have been wrong about me,” Trump continued.

Speaking on the same subject in an interview on ABC’s This Week, Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus assured the public that his organization is “prepared” to go into a convention with no candidate having received the required number of delegates, but qualified his remarks saying, “I don’t think that’s going to be the case.”

 

 

In the same interview, after being asked if Trump’s success in the campaign was an “indictment” of the Republican Party itself, Priebus said, “I think people are sick and tired of politics in general, sick and tired of Washington, D.C. I think just sick and tired of both parties.”

Through the first three nominating contests, Donald Trump has secured 67 delegates, to Cruz’s 11 and Rubio’s 10.  In order to win the nomination, a candidate needs the commitment of 1,236 of 2,472 total allocated delegates.

30 delegates will be awarded proportionally in the Nevada Republican caucuses on Tuesday, a state which polls show Trump winning by double-digits in the popular vote.

The next real test for all three candidates will be on Super Tuesday — March 1 — when a grand total of 661 GOP delegates are on the line from 13 states.

If Donald Trump does as well next week as he did in South Carolina and New Hampshire, the political pundits can kiss the chances of a “brokered” convention good-bye.

What’s bad for the media, is good for the RNC.

 

[The Hill] [ABC News] [The Green Papers] [RealClearPolitics] [Photo courtesy Getty Images]