University of Mary Washington political science professor Stephen Farnsworth said convention rules are “basically designed to thwart any outside candidate.” He said the 1st District reflects the trend statewide and nationally because of “very aggressive efforts” by Cruz supporters to select delegates.
“What we’re talking about here is fundamentally the problem of the Trump campaign,” Farnsworth said. “By failing to read the fine print of how these delegates are selected, they are increasingly at a disadvantage if this process goes beyond a first ballot.”
He said the odds of Trump winning on a first ballot are probably better than 50–50, but not by a lot. A victory in Indiana’s primary on Tuesday is key for Trump to secure the 1,237 delegates he needs to avoid a contested convention and subsequent ballots.