WASHINGTON: US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has reached the number of delegates needed to secure the party’s presidential nomination, the Associated Press reported on Thursday, citing its own delegate count.
Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party’s unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the national convention in July.
Among them is Oklahoma GOP chairwoman Pam Pollard. “I think he has touched a part of our electorate that doesn’t like where our country is,” Pollard said.
“I have no problem supporting Mr. Trump. “ It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination. Trump has reached 1,238. With 303 delegates at stake in five state primaries on June 7, Trump will easily pad his total, avoiding a contested convention in Cleveland.
Republicans are expected to finalize their pick when delegates vote during the July 18-21 convention in Cleveland.
Trump, a political neophyte who for years delivered caustic commentary on the state of the nation from the sidelines, fought off 16 other Republican contenders in an often ugly primary race. Many on the right have been slow to warm to Trump, wary of his conservative bona fides.
The celebrity real estate developer had flirted with running for office in the past.
His speech set the tone for the candidate’s ability to dominate the headlines with provocative statements, insults and hyperbole.
He called Mexicans “rapists,” promised to build a wall between the US and Mexico and proposed banning most Muslims from the US for an indeterminate time.
He criticized women for their looks. And he unleashed an uncanny marketing ability in which he deduced his critics’ weak points and distilled them to nicknames that stuck. “Little Marco” Rubio, “Weak” Jeb Bush and “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz, among others, all were forced into reacting to Trump.
They fell one-by-one leaving Trump the sole survivor of a riotous Republican primary.
Trump, 69, the son of a New York City real estate magnate, had risen to fame in the 1980s and 1990s, overseeing major real estate deals, watching his financial fortunes rise, then fall, hosting “The Apprentice” TV show and authoring more than a dozen books.
For US presidency, he would face either former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who are vying for the Democratic nomination. AP