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GOP Operatives: Unbound Delegates Could Push Trump to Win

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By    |   Wednesday, 20 Apr 2016 09:51 AM

Donald Trump has often-referred to magic number of 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the GOP presidential nomination on the first ballot, but party officials and operatives are starting to say that there are enough delegates who are still unbound that could push him to the win.

"I think a lot of people think if he gets within 50-100 [of 1,237], he'll be able to carry it," Colorado GOP chairman Steve House, an unbound delegate, told Politico, while Republican National Committee member Ron Kaufman commented that if Trump is close to that number after June 7, "there'll be a compelling reason for folks to say he's won the most delegates by a lot and he's won the most voters by a ton."

The main thing, Kaufman said, is to make sure that the people who voted in their states' primaries believe their votes mattered.

"You just can't kick all those voters — more than have ever voted in our primary before — to the curb. We want to make sure they're with us in November," said Kaufman.

Another RNC member, whose name was not used, pointed out that there are "plenty of delegates that are unbound on the first ballot; you've just got to go find them."

The current delegate count stands at Trump, 845; Cruz, 559; and Kasich, 147, and only Trump has a mathematical chance of scoring the 1,237 bound delegates outright, his New York co-chair, Councilman Joe Borelli, told CNN's "New Day" program Wednesday.

"The chief takeaway from last night is Ted Cruz is not mathematically unable to come up with 1,237 delegates," Borelli said. "From what we've been seeing over the past couple of weeks, I don't think the Cruz team's message out to be the voters beware.

"It doesn't matter. We're still going to compete, try to siphon off in the convention. Donald Trump won in almost every demographic and geographic in the region, and we're well-poised to take on Super Tuesday next week."

But Ron Nehring, Cruz's national spokesman, disagreed, pointing out that the Texas senator has won the last five states, and he does not believe Trump will get to 1,237 "because he can't consolidate the party behind him."

"Donald Trump is trapped in his own brand . . . Most Republicans do not want to see Donald Trump as a Republican nominee, and as we go forward, he is not going to be able to get to that point," Nehring said.

"Then it will wind up being up to the delegates, who are the representatives of the Republican party, and we'll see which candidate is able to put together the majority. That will not be Donald Trump. That's a certainty going forward."

There will be around 200 unbound delegates up for grabs at the Cleveland convention in July, but securing them may not be so easy. Trump's campaign has said they are confident they can lure enough over to reach the 1,237 secured delegates it needs to clinch the nomination on the first ballot.

And while Trump has been complaining loudly about the delegate system being rigged and accusing rival Ted Cruz of "stealing" delegates, an operative close to the front-runner's team said the campaign will take its own steps to lure delegates.

"This is like a Super Bowl ticket. The price only goes up," the operative told Politico. "If I were a delegate, I'd say I'm unpledged and hang my hat out there . . . wine me and dine me."

But Trump himself has decried such plans, telling reporters that such tactics are "corrupt and crooked," and that he could "put them in the best planes and bring them to the best resorts anywhere in the world," but that is equal to "buying these people . . . that's a corrupt system," reports The New York Times.

Also, the anti-Trump Our Principles PAC, says it plans to head to the convention if Trump does not have the 1,237 bound delegates by June 7 and do what it can to pull delegates away from him.

"Anyone who suggests they know what will happen on that first ballot is lying," said Katie Packer, the group's director.

"I give these delegates a bit more credit than being able to be bribed with a trip to Mar-a-Lago. We intend to make sure that every delegate understands how weak Trump is and how he has no chance of beating Hillary."

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Donald Trump has often-referred to magic number of 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the GOP presidential nomination on the first ballot, but party officials and operatives are starting to say that there are enough delegates...
GOP, Operatives, Unbound, Delegates, Push, Trump, Win
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Wednesday, 20 Apr 2016 09:51 AM
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