Despite what one hears in the media and from the Trump campaign, the sweep by Donald Trump of the five northeastern states primaries has not made him the presumptive nominee. The delegate count for Trump stands at 950 with Ted Cruz behind at 560. The problem for Trump is that opportunities for sweeping victories in future states, such as Indiana and California, are between few and nonexistent.

Red State offers a cogent analysis of the Republican race. The bottom line is that the only two outright victories Trump has ahead for him are in New Jersey and West Virginia. The remainder will either be outright Cruz wins or, in the case of New Mexico and Oregon, perhaps Kasich, or heavily contested, such as Indiana and California.

The argument being offered that the Republican race is over stems from the idea that Trump has built up an unstoppable momentum and, even if he falls short of the required 1,237 delegates he needs to win, in no way the Republicans can deny him the nomination. However, one factor argues for absolutely denying Trump the nomination, that being his likelihood of being stomped by Hillary Clinton in November.

Unpledged delegates who are being courted by both campaigns have to take the probability of victory or defeat in November in consideration. Trump not only goes down to an epic failure, but he will also likely drags down ballot Republicans down with him. The Republicans lose the House and Senate if Trump is at the bottom of the ticket and hence the Supreme Court. Hillary Clinton would have the same mandate and power to reshape the country that Barack Obama had in 2009-20010.

On the other hand, Cruz, while he is a few points south of Clinton, has every potential of being able to make up the difference and beat her soundly in the general election. Even in defeat, Cruz brings down far fewer down ballot Republicans than does Trump. The GOP likely retains the House and hence the ability to put a modicum of restraint in the drive by President Hillary Clinton. With Trump, no chance exists and hence no incentive to vote for him on the first ballot if one is not bound to do so. And Trump’s only chance is on the first ballot, so it is do or die for him.    #Donald Trump #Election 2016 #Ted Cruz