Why Trump Was Inevitable

nybooks.comThe 2016 Republican nomination contest is over. Donald Trump stands alone. This has surprised pundits, political scientists, and journalists alike. But why is it surprising that a candidate who led the race from July 2015 is going to be the Republican nominee?

Talk of a Trump “ceiling” was rampant from the time that he entered the contest. His ceiling was 25 percent; later it was 30 percent; and then later it was 40 percent. Obviously, for many political observers, it was inevitable that the anti-Trump vote would coalesce around one of his opponents. However, as we saw with the abortive John Kasich–Ted Cruz alliance prior to the Indiana primary on May 3, it was impossible for even two of Trump’s opponents to coordinate their attacks on the front-runner. But even with a more successful effort at coordination much earlier during the campaign, it is very unlikely that Trump could have been stopped.

Walter J. Stone

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