Beyond the sheer math of delegate counts, the core of the #NeverTrump argument among conservatives is that Donald Trump has peaked, that his delegate lead is the result of his early performance in a crowded field and that as things have gotten more serious, his candidacy has lost its momentum.
I’ve made that same kind of argument myself, predicting that Trump will fall short of a delegate majority and that Ted Cruz, with a better organization and better convention strategy, will come away from Cleveland with the nomination. But Fox News just released its latest national polling, and it shows Trump with a new high of 45 percent of GOP voters.
Here’s what the trend line looks like, going back to March 2015:
Fifteen percent was once supposed to be Trump’s ceiling, then 20, then 30 or 35 percent. Now he’s at 45 and still trending up. Ted Cruz trails Trump by 18 percentage points, according to Fox, and John Kasich trails by 20. And you can’t beat something with nothing. So even if Trump does end up short of the magical 1,237 delegates, it’s hard to look at data like this and honestly argue that Trump has peaked or that Republican voters have finally come down with a serious case of buyers’ remorse that justifies denying him the nomination.
Should they? Sure.
Have they? No. Quite the contrary, it appears.