Polls: Trump with commanding national lead in GOP nomination race
Despite a concerted effort over the past couple weeks, polling data reliably shows that Donald Trump's opponents have failed to reduce his popularity.
At this point, enough polls have been conducted to assess the impacts of the respective GOP candidates' choices of foreign policy personnel and viewpoints, as well as any personal attacks that have flown both ways.
Trump's support at the national level is continuing to consolidate in the low to mid-40s, while Ted Cruz is stuck in the high 20s to low 30s. Third-place candidate John Kasich oscillates between the high teens and mid-20s.
These trends are unchanging. Every now and then a poll will come out purporting to show a trend with either a loss or gain in Trump's support, often going to or coming from Cruz, but within a day or two, several more polls will appear returning the status quo.
As the latest CBS News poll conducted April 8-12 shows, if Kasich drops out, the gap between Trump and Cruz remains essentially unchanged – meaning Kasich's supporters effectively split in going to the two frontrunners, and Trump comes out near 50% with at least a 10% lead in the two-person race.
Trump is dominating the polls in all the upcoming primaries. In New York, he is ahead by somewhere between 23% and 43%. In Pennsylvania, his lead looks to have expanded up to 16% to 26%. Next door in Maryland, Trump's lead is probably close to 20%, and in Connecticut it is 24%, while in California he looks to be ahead by 7-8%.
The real race is over, as it has been since the polling data came out a few days before Super Tuesday and I called the overall nomination for Trump.
Trump will arrive at the convention in Cleveland winning an overwhelming majority of the states.
As for the delegate counts both coming into and out of the convention, the shenanigans and general nonsense have exposed only one truth: the Republican nomination process is an embarrassing joke. It's too susceptible to gamesmanship and manipulation, if not outright corruption, and that only accomplishes the task of diminishing the party's reputation among the general public.
If the GOP is serious about actually winning a presidential election in the near future, the leadership will move to a transparent and simple mathematical model whereby popular vote percentages in each state are automatically and uniformly converted to delegate counts that cannot be altered until after the first ballot at the convention. The current gibberish looks like something out of a communist politburo leadership contest from a third-world banana republic. That may work for the Democratic nomination – where most of their leaders fit into the model – but conservatives should have higher standards.