It's looking more and more like Donald Trump may really be the Republican nominee for president. If he wins either Florida or Ohio, it will be very hard to stop him -- and he could get a majority of delegates before the Republican convention.
This begs the question -- could Donald Trump actually be elected president? A lot of the pundits on cable TV are talking like it's a real possibility. I don't know if they are being real, or just trying to keep their viewer numbers up -- but I'm not ready to buy that.
First, look at the chart above. Trump has yet to reach 50% support in any of the states that have held primaries/caucuses so far -- and that is just among Republicans. It's hard for me to think of him as a favorite to win the general election when he is yet to be the favorite of a majority in his own party. His teabagger supporters love him, but he is not the clear favorite among all Republicans.
And that is not his only problem.
The chart above reflects the results of a new Rasmussen Poll -- done on February 29th and March 1st of a random national sample of 1,000 likely voters, with a margin of error of 3 points. The poll does not bode well for Trump. About 49% say they would definitely NOT vote for Trump if he is the GOP nominee, while only 30% say they would definitely vote for him. Trump would have to win over 100% of those who said it would depend on who his opponent was (or refused to answer) -- and that is an extremely unlikely scenario.
Making his path even more difficult is the fact that some fairly well-known Republicans are already jumping ship on him. Lifelong Republican Ben Stein has already said he would vote for Hillary Clinton if Trump is the GOP nominee, and said this about Trump:
"I just hope that (Trump) bandwagon does not drag the whole party out to sea and sink us like the Goldwater bandwagon did when I was a young man. I don't want to see that happen again to the Republican Party, but I'm afraid that's what's coming down the road."
Add to this the fact that 25 other notable Republicans have declared they could not support Trump in the general election. These Republicans are going to distance themselves from a Trump-led ticket -- and it would not surprise me to see their numbers grow.
This leaves Trump with a very tall mountain to climb to reach the White House -- and I am not at all convinced he could do it.
Here are those 25 anti-Trump Republicans:
Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.)
Gov. Charlie Baker (Mass.)
Glenn Beck, conservative host
Jay Caruso, RedState
Eliot Cohen, former George W. Bush official
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (Fla.)
Steve Deace, conservative radio host
Rep. Bob Dold (Ill.)
Erick Erickson, conservative writer
Doug Heye, former RNC communications director
Former Rep. Bob Inglis (S.C.)
Bill Kristol, The Weekly Standard editor
Kevin Madden, former Mitt Romney aide
Former RNC Chairman Mel Martínez (Fla.)
Liz Mair, GOP strategist
Former Gov. George Pataki (N.Y.)
Former Rep. Ron Paul (Texas)
Rep. Reid Ribble (Wis.)
Former Gov. Tom Ridge (Pa.)
Rep. Scott Rigell (Va.)
Rep. Mark Sanford (S.C.)
Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.)
Former Rep. J.C. Watts (Okla.)
Peter Wehner, conservative New York Times contributor
Former Gov. Christine Todd