On the eve of the first caucuses and primaries of the campaign season, Donald Trump’s popularity remains potent and impressive and he looks likely to win most, if not all, of the early contests. But if he does, he’ll still probably fall short of an actual majority of delegates: proportionality rules mean that any candidate who scores more than 10% of the vote can claim delegates in most states.
Even if Trump romps to victory with 40% or more against multiple opponents, he might still fall short of the 50% of all delegates he needs for first ballot victory. Super-Pac funding makes it possible for up to five other candidates to stay in the race, picking up delegates, hoping to influence the convention or to grab a spot on the ticket. This year’s rules and the plethora of energetic contenders make it tough for Trump or anyone else to wrap up the nomination before the Cleveland convention.