The Republican Nomination Is About to Get Even Crazier

It took a long time, but it appears just as the Republicans were close to giving Donald Trump their nomination, they got cold feet. Trump, whom OddsShark had as a -400 favorite on March 24th to be the Republican party's nominee, has seen his odds suddenly rice precipitously. Was it the feud with Ted Cruz over their wives, the tone deaf abortion comments, the fact that after a long flirtation many reasonable people started to have second thoughts, who knows exactly the cause, but suddenly Trump's odds at the nomination have collapsed. He's now -140 at Bovada to be the nominee, but he has fallen all the way to -110 at 5Dimes. 

This morning's odds on 5Dimes look like this:

Donald Trump -110 (-110 that the field will be the nominee, meaning Trump's exactly 50% likely to be the nominee, his lowest number in months)

Ted Cruz +225

John Kasich +625

Paul Ryan +1250 (Paul Ryan was 100-1 on March 2nd, just over a month ago. I told y'all to join me and take him then.) 

Regardless of which political party you vote for, anyone with a brain -- or an ability to read polling data and look at battleground states -- is aware that Hillary Clinton will beat Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in a head-to-head race. (This is assuming Hillary isn't indicted or some unpredictable destructive force doesn't torpedo her campaign -- think Bill Clinton selling state secrets to Iran in exchange for 75 live Persian virgins).

With Ted Cruz a heavy favorite to win the Wisconsin primary and Donald Trump, the only candidate who can collect enough delegates in advance of the convention to forestall a brokered convention, potentially limping down the stretch, don't you think that in the event of a brokered convention the Republican delegates may end up focusing on either John Kasich or Paul Ryan as a nominee who can actually beat Hillary? Given that it's almost impossible to see Trump or Cruz delegates ever supporting either candidate, this makes Kasich and Ryan seem like pretty good bets if you believe a brokered convention is going to happen.

Indeed, one top Republican strategist told Politico this morning that he thought Paul Ryan would end up the nominee.  

"On the eve of the Wisconsin primaries, top Republicans are becoming increasingly vocal about their long-held belief that Speaker Paul Ryan will wind up as the nominee, perhaps on the fourth ballot at a chaotic Cleveland convention.

One of the nation's best-wired Republicans, with an enviable prediction record for this cycle, sees a 60 percent chance of a convention deadlock and a 90 percent chance that delegates turn to Ryan — ergo, a 54 percent chance that Ryan, who'll start the third week of July as chairman of the Republican National Convention, will end it as the nominee." 

Of course Paul Ryan is saying he doesn't want to run for President, but he also said that he didn't want to be speaker of the house. And we saw how that turned out. Not wanting something in politics is typically the number one way to get it. 

Sure, if Ryan is the nominee there's the potential that Donald Trump runs as a third party candidate or that his supporters refuse to accept a Republican nominee and stay home rather than vote for Ryan. But Hillary is going to beat Ted Cruz or Donald Trump. So would you rather roll the dice on Ryan or Kasich uniting the party -- potentially Ryan could even pick Kasich as his running mate -- or risk certain defeat to Hillary?

I just don't see this as a difficult proposition.

Especially since it's arguably easier for all the candidates to accept Paul Ryan, a man who didn't actually run against them, than to pick someone who ran for the nomination and wasn't capable of getting enough delegates.  

(If Hillary ends up winning because Donald Trump runs as a third party candidate and kills the Republicans this means the Clinton's really are the luckiest husband and wife duo ever. Remember that Bill Clinton won in 1992 because Ross Perot diluted George Bush's support. One question for election geniuses out there, could Donald Trump even get on the ballot if he doesn't decide to run until late July? I'm not sure a third party race is even possible at that date.)

And with the NCAA tournament finishing today -- I'm on North Carolina -2 -- and the Golden State Warriors a huge favorite to sweep to their second straight NBA title, the best sporting contest of the summer is the fight for the Republican nomination. 

How wild is this getting? I'm thinking about applying for credentials and covering it live for Outkick.

Buckle up, this one is going to be fun.  

Written by
Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021. One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines. Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide. Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports. Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.