US ELECTIONS

Donald Trump secures support needed for Republican nomination

Businessman has the support of 1,238 delegates, making his nomination nearly impossible to contest

Donald Trump at a campaign event.
Donald Trump at a campaign event.J. SKIPPER / REUTERS

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The New York businessman Donald Trump has crossed the threshold of 1,237 delegates a candidate needs in order to seize the Republican nomination. Though his nomination was no longer in doubt, few observers believed he would clinch that figure before the Republican National Convention in July.

The fact that he has received such widespread support even before the end of the primary season has important ramifications for his own party as well as for the Democratic campaign, where the frontrunner Hillary Clinton has yet to consolidate her victory.

The controversial rookie politician has rattled the Republican party and gradually defeated his 16 primary rivals

The fact that Trump has received 1,238 delegate votes eliminates any other possible last-minute candidate, something that some party leaders were still hoping for. Such strong backing also puts pressure on Republican heavyweights such as Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House of Representatives, to officially sponsor his party’s presumptive nominee.

The real estate mogul was able to reach the necessary number of delegates because several unpledged individuals – the so-called superdelegates – have promised to vote for him at the convention. Trump did not even need to wait for primaries in California and four other states on June 7 where, being the only candidate in the Republican race, he will likely take all 303 delegates on the table.

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The controversial rookie politician has rattled the Republican party and gradually defeated his 16 primary rivals, including early favorites such as Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich were the last men standing. Several former contenders such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson have sponsored Trump and joined him on the campaign trail.

Trump’s delegate win means he can now focus his efforts on the final battle against the Democratic Party, a fact that poses a serious challenge for his likely rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She must fight on two fronts as long as her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders continues to compete with her for their party’s nomination.

English version by Dyane Jean François.

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