UtahPolicyIconDespite Ted Cruz's dominating performance in the Utah Republican Presidential Caucus on Tuesday night, our "Political Insiders" mostly expect Donald Trump to emerge victoriously at the GOP convention in Cleveland.
 
Trump needs to win about 54% of all remaining delegates to hit the magic number of 1,237 and win the nomination outright. Cruz needs a much higher total while Ohio Gov. John Kasich cannot mathematically win enough delegates to capture the nomination. 
 
If no candidate can win 1,237 pledged delegates, it would set up the first contested convention in more than 60 years, meaning anyone's name could be entered into nomination on the convention floor.
 
31% of the Republicans on our panel think Trump will win the nomination outright while just 2% think Cruz will win enough delegates. On the Democratic side, 20% say Trump will win the nomination while 5% say Cruz.
 
When it comes to a contested convention, 12% of Republicans think Trump will win, 14% say Cruz, 17% think Kasich is most likely to prevail in a contested convention while 24% believe someone else will.
 

 
Selected anonymous comments:
 
"All I can hope for is for rescue at the last minute. It is kind of like Dudley Do-right rescuing sweet Nell in the nick of time, snatching her up off of the train tracks an instant before the train runs over her. Alas, it might be Snidely Whiplash instead...Drat! Shucks! And Darn!"
 
"Wishful thinking to vote for 'none of the above,' hope this mess doesn't have to play out to a disastrous end before sanity returns. We need a President, Senate, and House with people who know how to govern and compromise to best serve our country's needs. This bad situation started with Newt Gingrich, progressed thru the auspices of the Fox rabble-rousers, to this dreadful end. The better survey question would be to ask how long it will take to make the country sane again."
 
"Someone other than the current candidates will get the nomination, but the winner will be Hilary. The public will not forget low-life Trump or lying Cruz and how close the party came to accepting their amoral campaigns."
 
"If Trump gets the nomination at the convention it will be the end of the Republican Party. Period."
 
"Even though Trump's supporters will feel disenfranchised, I can't imagine Republican's allowing this toxic candidate to enable the Democrats to win the House, Senate, and White House. However, stranger things have happened."
 
"Holding out hope now for Paul Ryan in a contested convention!!!"
 
"Though Trump won't take it all, the far Right wing of the Republican Party will still prevail by nominating Cruz - who will lose badly to a Hillary-Bernie ticket."
 
"This election will have long lasting implications for the Republican Party."
 
"The real contest may be a spoiler, big name Republican like Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan, both of which have made the news. At some point, the establishment will come to their senses and know that doing so will destroy the GOP 'big tent' as massive votes will go third or stay home. When the establishment calms down, they coalesce behind Cruz, he wins. Then, who is his running mate?"
 
"The silent conservative majority has come out of silence, and they are the Trump supporters."
 
"I think the math is on Trump's side. It isn't for sure, but I think he will get to 'the number.'"
 
"Trump will win. A million Glenn Becks and Mitt Romney's could not stop him. The big question is what will the Republican Party look like next year. Will it be rebranded or will there be a split? This is history folks, real history not footnoted history like Dole in '96 or McCain in '08."
 
"The party is choosing a contested convention, and if they do that, they can't possibly nominate any of the current candidates."