That’s what happens when you have only a plurality, not a majority.
Donald Trump had a good night, but he’s still far from what it takes to win what is required — a majority of all delegates.
Here is the delegate count as of approximately 11:45 p.m. Eastern tonight. It will change somewhat because the delegate allocation calculations are not simple.
Trump supporters — and some in the *conservative* media — want to pretend that having a plurality of delegates or raw vote entitles Trump to the nomination. But it doesn’t.
Trump isn’t entitled to anything until he has a majority of delegates. He has to win it. Contrary to something said by one of the commentators on Fox News tonight, there are no gimmes at the convention, unlike in golf.
If, for argument sake, Cruz-Rubio-Kasich delegates outnumbered Trump delegates at the convention, and chose Cruz either on the first ballot (if the rules permit) or on the second ballot, then Trump loses fair and square.
That’s what happens when you have a plurality not a majority. It’s democracy. To consider someone with a mere plurality entitled to the nomination would be anti-democratic.
That’s not the same thing as a “brokered” convention in which a small number of party elites choose the winner.
Will Trump supporters walk if that happens? Perhaps. Will many non-Trump supporters walk if Trump wins? According to the polls, yes. So either way, there is a divided party.
So I’m not afraid of a contested convention. In fact, I’m kind of looking forward to it.
Update 3-16-2016 — Trump suggests there will be riots if his plurality does not prevail: