Sorry, Bill Weld: Trump Just Clinched the GOP Nomination

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Bill Weld’s hopes of dethroning President Donald Trump and becoming the 2020 Republican nominee for president have been dashed as of Tuesday; this week, Trump clinched the 1,276 delegates he needs to lead the party into the fall and take on the Democratic challenger in November.

While the outcome of the Republican primary race was never in doubt (millions of Americans were probably unaware Trump HAD any challengers for the nomination), the early clinch speaks to how much popularity the president continues to enjoy within his base.

“It shows the enthusiasm behind President Trump, it shows how unified Republicans are behind President Trump and how intense their support for him is,” said Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh. “Republicans and President Trump’s supporters have been just itching to get involved in the process that will end with his reelection in November.”

Murtaugh’s second remark refers to the primary turnout for Trump, which has been extraordinary. Even though challengers like Weld, Joe Walsh, and Mark Sanford barely registered as a blip in the media, the president’s Republican supporters have shown up in force to let the party know that they want to see Trump return as the nominee. That alone speaks volumes, especially in states where voters turned out more heavily on the Republican side than the Democratic side. Granted, this coronavirus debacle is going to change electoral calculations beyond what we can predict, but there is a decided enthusiasm gap between the left and the right. All good news.

Going into Tuesday’s races in Florida and Illinois (Arizona didn’t even bother with a Republican primary contest this year), Trump had 1,141 delegates. He only needed another 135 to clinch, and he easily got those with blowout victories in both states.

All total, Weld has won only a single delegate, which was courtesy of the Iowa caucuses. Now that Trump has clinched, that delegate will be officially released to vote for Trump at the convention this summer.

You know, assuming there is a convention this summer.

Naturally, all that is up in the air right now due to the pandemic, and that’s also why Trump will get very little mileage out of clinching his nomination before his Democratic challenger secured his. The nation is focused on the virus, the economy, and themselves right now; national politics are not really the priority.

Nonetheless, this is an election year, and it could turn out to be a defining one for the future of the nation. Do you believe that Joe Biden has what it takes to see us through to the other side of this crisis, what with his regulatory burdens, his focus on climate change, his bizarre fondness for China, and his just-shy-of-open-borders position on immigration? Or will you trust the America First billionaire who has quite a lot of experience with what it takes to come back from the brink?

Now, more than ever, the choice is clear.