Radio host Hugh Hewitt joined MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki Thursday morning to discuss what many have already predicted will happen, including Hewitt, when the GOP descends into Cleveland for their convention in July: a contested convention. Not only that, but Hewitt said that there’s no way Donald Trump gets to 1,237 delegates, even with the rosiest of scenarios for the slate of northeastern primaries next Tuesday, Indiana in May, and California in June. There are 15 states left in the GOP primary season.
Hewitt said he went state-by-state and gave Trump very generous amounts of delegates in his projection, including 51 of 57 of Indiana’s slate. Trump needs 392 delegates to clinch the nomination. Hewitt said Trump probably wouldn’t get any delegates in Nebraska, South Dakota, or Montana, which means in 14 out of the 15 contests left, the billionaire would only get 273–and it’s doubtful he will do well in California, in which he would need to win 119 of the 172 delegates in that contest. He added that it’s doubtful that Trump would get any more than 100 by the time Cruz, Trump, and Kasich duke it out in The Golden State, unless a “political asteroid” occurs.
Kornacki asked about whether Trump’s momentum by dominating the Northeastern primaries and heading into California would incentivize or convince Republicans in the state to accept the inevitable and clear a path for the billionaire. Hewitt said that’s not going to happen, being a California native for 25 years and seeing how elections are run. If anything, you’ve seen Trump’s team being outworked in Wyoming and other smaller-scale contests. You could see this on a grand scale in California, where congressional districts allocate 159 of those delegates. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has people on the ground in those districts; his delegate slates have all been filled with high-profile people, according to Hewitt. The same could be said for Pennsylvania.
Another thing Hewitt mentioned was Trump’s statement that he wants to change the Republican Party platform on the life issue, which drew the ire of major players in Indiana–a hardcore pro-life state. Hewitt added that these missteps could cost him, even though Trump remains the frontrunner, and that there is a path to 1,237 for Trump. But don’t bet the mortgage on it. There’s probably going to be multiple ballots, and Trump is probably not going to win. If he does, he would be the weakest frontrunner in the modern era. On the flip side, Cruz isn’t that much better, and I doubt he would fare any differently in areas of the country where elections are decided. Republicans might do better down-ticket with Cruz as our nominee, but it’s time to face facts. Whoever wins the nomination still has a very difficult electoral map to navigate, even without Trump.
Yet, everything this election cycle has been unpredictable. Let's see what happens. Latest poll has Trump leading by double-digits in California.