Donald Trump as a nominee? Towards a contested GOP convention?

Read few comments.

Questions:

1. After another Super Tuesday as I see it Hillary Clinton is basically a nominee though Bernie Sanders in not going to quit. What’s is your view?

2. After Donald Trump won Florida but lost in Ohio do you think we are closer to contested GOP convention?

Answers:

Donna Hoffman, Associate Professor, Department Head, Department of Political Science, University of Northern Iowa

1. Hillary Clinton is the likely nominee for the Democrats. The question now is how much longer Sanders stays in the race. His campaign has both influenced the conversations taking place and also helped prepare Clinton for the general election by giving her competition. The challenge for Clinton going forward will be to convert Sanders supporters to her side at the point she wins the nomination. The danger is that some of Sanders supporters become disillusioned and either do not support Clinton in the general or don’t participate in the general. How Sanders leaves the race could be important in this regard.

2. After the results of last night the GOP is somewhat closer to a brokered convention. Given the unpredictability of the Republican race so far, it is difficult to predict what will happen and how Rubio’s dropping out and Kasich’s win in Ohio might affect upcoming contests.

Richard BenedettoAdjunct Professor of Journalism, School of Communication, American University

1. Hillary Clinton should have a clear path to the nomination now. Bernie Sanders will continue to campaign because he has the money to do it. His supporters are loyal, although mostly young and want him to stay in. He feels as though he is making a strong anti-Wall Street and pro-government (socialist) statement about the direction he wants to take the country. However, a majority of Americans are not ready to go that way yet, although young people seem to love it.

2. I do not think we will have a contested convention. It appears that even if Donald Trump does not win a majority of the delegates prior to the convention in July, he will be solidly ahead of Cruz. And therefore, if the party does not want to commit suicide, it will hand the nomination to him. The same would be true for Cruz if he is ahead in the count (unlikely) after the primaries are over. Selecting a second- or third-place finisher in the primaries, or maybe someone else, will cause many Republican voters to bolt the party or not vote at all.

The news media love to speculate about a contested convention, but we have not had one since 1976, when the nomination went to President Gerald Ford over Ronald Reagan. Ford was ahead in the count after the primaries were over and the convention gave him enough votes to go over the top and win. So Reagan forces were not overly upset at losing. They came back four years later and won.

If Trump went into the convention ahead, and the nomination went to someone else, all of those millions of Trump voters, already an angry bunch, would blow up and abandon the nominee. A political party in this country runs a high risk in denying the will of the voters.

David Redlawsk, Professor of Political Science & Director,  Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

1. Bernie Sanders put up a good fight and managed to push Hillary Clinton to address important issues, but it is clear she will be the Democrat’s nominee. Sanders will probably continue but there seems no path by which he wins.

2. I do not know that we are any closer to a contested GOP convention, but I do not think we are any further away either. While Trump continues to build a delegate lead, there are still a great many, maybe a majority, of Republicans who want someone else to be the winner. Even so, there are a lot of winner-take-all primaries left for the Republicans. As long as Trump still has two challengers, he has a very good chance of winning those kinds of primaries. So there remains plenty of opportunity for him to win the nomination outright.

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