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Donald Trump’s campaign just announced that they’re going ALL-IN to prepare for what is likely to become a contested convention.
New to the team, political strategist Paul Manafort is going to be leading the Trump team’s charge to fight back against the Establishment.
As he begins his new role, Manafort is tasked with just about everything related to getting Trump elected, but his main focus will be bringing the fight to the convention floor in Cleveland this July.
“The nomination process has reached a point that requires someone familiar with the complexities involved in the final stages,” Trump said in a statement. “I am organizing these responsibilities under someone who has done this job successfully in many campaigns.”
Manafort has extensive experience in this realm, and will prove to be a formidable adversary to the Establishment. In 1976, he was instrumental in managing the convention floor when President Gerald Ford defeated Ronald Regan at that year’s open convention. He later managed the convention floor for Reagan in 1980, George H.W. Bush in 1988 and Bob Dole in 1996.
Manafort will also be in charge of leading Trump’s outreach to the RNC, the likes of which have been skeptical, and in some cases outright DANGEROUS to their party’s leading frontrunner.
This promotion comes at a time when the media are running hit pieces on Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, whom they are trying to paint as some evil villain. Instead of replacing Lewandowski, Manafort will be “working closely” with him in his new role. Lewnadowski is expected to maintain a role of high-importance within the Trump campaign.
“This will allow the rest of my team to deal with the increasing needs of a national campaign for both the pre-Convention phase and most importantly, the general election,” Trump said.
While Trump might secure the delegates needed to avoid a contested convention entirely, Ted Cruz’s recent victory in Wisconsin has made that path increasingly unlikely.
The real elephant in the room comes from the way that unbound delegates will be playing a role in this year’s election. States like Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania are expected to elect delegates who have specifically declared a preference for a particular candidate… and most of them are entirely anti-Trump.
This means that the candidates need to recruit and elect their supporters as delegates, by Cruz handily beating Trump at that game, and is expected to take the lion’s share from those states.
Trump leads in the polls, but the delegates will be the ultimate deciders heading in to November.