The continuous prosperity of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has only furthered the implosion of the Republican Party. With the exception of his loss in Ohio, Trump was triumphant on the third Super Tuesday, winning in North Carolina, Illinois, Missouri and Florida.
Sen. Marco Rubio officially dropped out of the presidential race after losing in his home state of Florida. The obviously disgruntled senator talked about how Trump’s dominance can have dire consequences for the Republican Party: “Hopefully, there’s time to still prevent a Trump nomination, which I think would fracture the party and be damaging to the conservative movement,” Rubio said in a public statement.
Trump has not just fractured the Republican Party — he has practically eaten it alive. As the front-runner for the Republican nomination, he has done more to throw the party into turmoil and disarray than the Democrats could ever dream of.
In just a few months, the Republican National Convention will take place. The convention is the final step for a candidate in his or her quest to secure the party’s nomination. The Republican National Convention has 2,472 delegates, and a candidate needs a majority of 1,237 delegates to secure the nomination. However, if no candidate gets the majority vote by the time of the convention, the convention’s chairman will order brokered conventions until a nominee is officially chosen. Right now, Trump has 673 delegates, meaning that he is a little over the halfway point in terms of earning the delegates he needs to attain victory.
Yet, Trump securing the Republican nomination will be far from an easy road to cross. If the controversial billionaire does not secure the required majority of delegates by the time of the Republican National Convention, the committee running the event will have to enforce a series of revotes, which are also known as brokered conventions. With brokered conventions, delegates are allowed to switch sides and vote for a different candidate than the one for whom they originally voted. There has been speculation that certain delegates are already planning to change their votes if these brokered conventions happen, in order to prevent Trump from winning the nomination.
What also must be taken into account is that Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich are still in the race and have already cost Trump some significant victories, so it is more than likely that the fate of the Republican nomination will be determined by the Republican National Convention. Thus, the opinions of millions of American citizens could be completely dismissed so as to accommodate the personal agendas of many Republican politicians.
As if all of this does not sound wrongheaded enough, Trump predictably let this speculation get to him and cause him to make more outlandish comments, saying that there would be riots if he did not get the majority of delegates by the time the convention happens in July. Given that there have been numerous incidents of violence at Trump’s presidential campaign rallies, it is not so unbelievable that he would say something like that. It is really not surprising, given that Trump loves to promote immature, unprofessional behavior as a means of getting his way.
The issue for the Republican Party is what happens if they successfully keep Trump from getting the majority of delegates and keep him from getting the Republican nomination through the brokered conventions. Trump could then run as an independent nominee while the Republican Party is left with a weak roster of credible candidates. Out of spite, Trump would do everything in his power to make sure that he takes as many votes away from the chosen Republican candidate as possible. This would leave the Democratic nominee to run with very little opposition, likely securing them the presidency.
In order to keep themselves from losing the presidency, the Republican Party would have to support Trump — even though many members of the party view him more as an enemy than an ally.
Though the Republican Party is in a tough situation, it is still a situation that they brought onto themselves. When Trump was first getting traction last summer after he announced his candidacy, nobody in the GOP even attempted to take him seriously as a potential front-runner. The GOP has done this to themselves, because members of the Republican Party have presented themselves as more interested in their own agendas than in the interests of the American people. The same could be said about the Democratic Party, but the Democrats do not have to deal with a media mogul billionaire who is making all of their members look like complete buffoons. People want someone with a fire in his or her stomach who actually demands change and doesn’t just ask for it.
Unfortunately, Trump is the only person in this campaign season who has that fire in his stomach. The Republican Party made this mess, so now they have to concoct a last-ditch effort to clean it up. However, no matter what the result is, the Republicans will likely find themselves on the losing end of this tumultuous race to the White House.