As we predicted back in mid-March, long-time-presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has finally obtained enough delegates to secure the nomination.
According to a delegate count released today, Trump has surpassed the golden number by one, achieving a total 1,238 delegates just before a North Dakota campaign stop.
Trump sealed the deal by winning the support of numerous unbound delegates who have vowed to support the billionaire candidate this summer at the (uncontested) Republican National Convention in Cleveland. And there are still 303 delegates up for grabs.
“I think he has touched a part of our electorate that doesn’t like where our country is,” says unbound Oklahoma delegate Pam Pollard. “I have no problem supporting Mr. Trump.”
The left is still contested, with Hillary in the lead and Sanders refusing to back down. “Here I am watching Hillary fight, and she can’t close the deal,” says Trump. “We’ve had tremendous support from almost everybody.”
Trump, the unlikely underdog, has managed to fight off 16 contenders for the GOP nomination. It has been a particularly ugly race.
Still, many Republican leaders continue to withhold their support for the billionaire, complaining about his anti-establishment stance and crass attitude.
Meanwhile, millions of Americans have embraced Trump as a plain-speaking populist. “Leadership is leadership,” says Colorado delegate Steve House. “If he can surround himself with the political talent, I think he will be fine.”