As the decisive hour approaches, the talk about a contested convention in Cleveland in July has grown noticeably quieter. “People are realizing that he’s the likely nominee,” Tim Pawlenty told The Washington Post. “The hysteria has died down, and the range of emotion is from resignation to enthusiasm.” Newt Gingrich said, “Trump has become a fact rather than a problem,” while Dick Wadhams, the GOP’s party chairman in Colorado, told the Post, “There is an acceptance, a resignation or whatever, that Trump is going to be the nominee.”
Some Republicans, like Jeb Bush, do have an appetite for a brokered convention, with the aim of putting Ted Cruz on the ballot. But others are more likely to be #NeverCruz than #NeverTrump. John Boehner made headlines this week for calling Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh.” Judd Gregg, the former senator from New Hampshire, said on Thursday that he could see himself voting for Trump, but that Cruz is “a demagogue’s demagogue and he shouldn’t be trusted with the responsibilities of the office.” Meanwhile, Republican senators are playing duck and cover, crossing their fingers that Trump won’t do too much collateral damage in the fall.
Divided, dispirited, defeated: This is the state the GOP finds itself in, on the eve of Trump’s increasingly likely coronation in July.