While Donald Trump continues to lead in delegate count, this week has not been his in terms of momentum. The GOP frontrunner was handed a resounding defeat in Wisconsin, where rival Ted Cruz beat him 48.2% to 35.1%. Now all eyes have turned to New York, the next primary in the nominating contest, with 95 delegates at stake — where Trump currently enjoys a commanding 56% to 22% lead over Cruz in the latest poll.
But even before the New York primary in a couple weeks, Trump may be precluded from reaching the required 1,237 delegates before the Republican National Convention, given what’s rather quietly happening in Colorado as we speak. As The Washington Post wrote of the Colorado delegates:
But if the Republican presidential race between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz is decided by just a handful of delegates, what happens in Colorado this weekend might matter most of all.
Nate Silver goes so far as to suggest that if Trump gets shut out in Colorado this weekend, he will definitely fall short of the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination before the convention. And that, of course, would leave him vulnerable to the workings of the GOP convention, which many — including Trump supporters — fear could quash his chances of walking away as the nominee.
Many observers — and the Trump campaign itself — don’t expect Trump to do well in Colorado. Conservative Review makes this prediction — you can read its full analysis here:
Based on what happened in the first two district contests, it is expected that Ted Cruz will sweep the 34 Colorado delegates being selected at the district and state assemblies. The remaining three delegates are the members of the Republican National Committee from Colorado and can remain unbound.
As of Friday afternoon, Cruz has dominated the first five contests in Colorado, while Trump and Kasich remain empty-handed. While neither candidate will make the trip to Colorado this weekend, both Trump and Kasich are putting more focus on the state convention’s weekend proceedings, in an attempt to nab some delegates before it’s over.
While this contest is likely to garner a small fraction of the coverage the upcoming New York primary will get, it’s on its way to quietly tipping the scales further toward a contested convention.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]