The week continues to be a disaster for real estate mogul Donald Trump, as he may have just made a significant error that could cost him 50 delegates.
Trump’s decisive victory in the South Carolina primary back in February caused many at the time to think that he had an aura of inevitability in becoming the Republican presidential nominee. But now a comment he made this past week could cost him all 50 delegates he won in the Palmetto state.
During Tuesday’s CNN town hall, moderator Anderson Cooper asked Trump if he would maintain his pledge to support the GOP nominee, whoever it ends up being.
“No. I don’t anymore,” Trump responded, pouting that he’s being “treated very unfairly.” Trump must have forgotten that when he filed for South Carolina’s ballot, he had to sign a pledge to support the GOP nominee.
“Breaking South Carolina’s presidential-primary-ballot pledge raises some unanswered legal questions that no one person can answer,” South Carolina GOP chairman Matt Moore told Time magazine. “However, a court or national convention Committee on Contests could resolve them. It could put delegates in jeopardy.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) have already sent operatives to woo over South Carolina’s delegates–who haven’t been selected yet–to get their support on a second ballot at the convention since they’re already to bound to Trump. However, should the challenge against Trump for breaking his pledge succeed, then those delegates could be free to choose their own candidate on the first ballot.
Trump already has a rocky path to reaching the 1,237 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination, which would be put further in jeopardy if South Carolina’s delegates leave him. If the July convention does reach a second ballot, then Trump would suddenly bleed delegates, as over 100 delegates plan to break rank from him in a second ballot and would likely switch their allegiance to Cruz, according to Politico.
The anti-Trump forces should be feeling pretty confident right now.