So that’s that. Donald Trump, barring some wild unforeseen circumstances, will be tapped as the Republican nominee for president of the United States at the GOP convention in Cleveland.
His only real competitor, and a long-shot one at that, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, dropped out of the GOP race after the results of the Indiana primary became clear.
Trump’s win was resounding in Indiana. He got 53.3% of the vote to Cruz’s 36.6% and Kasich’s 7.6%.
“We gave it everything we’ve got, but the voters chose another path,” said Cruz during his Indiana concession speech. He added, for good measure, that as a country “we are not boastful or mean-spirited.”
Where does the Trump candidacy go from here? Only God and Donald Trump may know the answer to that. For one, Trump seems to relish facing off against Hillary Clinton in the general election: “Folks, I haven’t even started yet. Now I’m going to start focusing on Hillary. It’s going to be so easy. It’s going to be so great.”
It won’t be that easy. “The election may indeed prove a ‘great’ spectacle, but not in the manner Trump imagines it will,” explains Greg Sargent of The Washington Post. Trump has what appears to be an insurmountable deficit with women, the biggest electoral demographic in the country -- and with Hispanics, the fastest-growing minority group. One in six Americans identifies as Hispanic.
Many are convinced, as is yours truly, that Donald Trump cannot generate the amount of support needed to defeat Hillary Clinton. Speaking with Quartz, the director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, political analyst Larry Sabato anticipates that it would be extremely difficult for Trump to win against Clinton, save perhaps for an indictment or a liberal third-party candidate.
When asked if he could envision a sequence of events in which Trump becomes president, Sabato explained: “It’s stretching my imagination to the breaking point. But it’s a failure of imagination to say never. It really is.”
Despite Hillary Clinton’s shortcomings, she will be supported by a remarkable cast of surrogates. President Obama will campaign actively for Hillary, as will former President Bill Clinton. Then think: Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, to name just a handful. Beyond the boost in support from the political class, a host of celebrities will surely be actively engaged in her candidacy as well.
Much can happen in the 188 days between now and Nov. 8. But will that be enough time to change millions of minds? We’ll have to wait and see.