It is not inevitable that Donald Trump gets the Republican nomination for president.
This has been a strange primary season and Trump has taken the lead for a number of reasons.
First, his message is anti-Washington, D.C., and that resonates with Republicans who are tired of GOP leadership that promises to stand up to liberal policies but then compromises every time.
Trump has benefitted from a large field of candidates. While Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio and to some extent, Gov. John Kasich, have been splitting primary votes in states that grant proportional delegates, Trump has carved out a niche. There is no one else like him in the race.
An analysis shows that Trump has done well in states that have open primaries – where Democrats and Independents can vote for their favorite Republican.
Conversely, Cruz has done well and won states with closed primaries, like Oklahoma, where only registered Republicans can vote for a GOP nominee.
Most of the remaining states are closed-primary states.
Cruz could easily overtake Trump when only Republicans get to vote for Republicans.
Rubio and Kasich are praying for a brokered convention. Should Trump or Cruz fail to get enough votes for the nomination in the first tally, the Establishment Republicans will probably change the rules and put in someone other than Trump or Cruz. That would create a strong backlash against the eventual GOP nominee.
The only hope for those who don’t want Trump is for Cruz to win enough delegates to win on the first round. Otherwise, Trump is the nominee or Trump stomps out of the convention, taking a host of voters with him.
Even if Cruz doesn’t win the first vote at the convention, if he has more delegates than Trump, a coalition could be built that could keep Trump followers. Cruz is polling well in California. He is the only true conservative in the race. He is the most articulate candidate and without a doubt, the smartest.
It’s still a horse race. For conservative Christians, Ted Cruz is the best hope.