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Throughout the Republican Party, from New Hampshire to Florida to California, many leaders, operatives, donors and activists arrived this week at the conclusion they had been hoping to thwart or at least delay: Donald Trump will be their presidential nominee.
An aura of inevitability is now forming around the controversial mogul. Trump smothered his opponents in six straight primaries in the Northeast and vacuumed up more delegates than even the most generous predictions foresaw. He is gaining high-profile endorsements by the day — a legendary Indiana basketball coach Wednesday, two House committee chairmen Thursday. And his rivals, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, are making the kind of rushed tactical moves that signal desperation.
The party is at a turning point. Republican stalwarts opposed to Trump remain fearful of the damage the unconventional and unruly billionaire might inflict on the party’s down-ballot candidates in November. But many also now see him as the all-but-certain nominee and are exhausted by the prospect of a contested July convention, according to interviews this week with more than a dozen party figures from coast to coast.
GOP elites are now resigned to Donald Trump as their nominee
Republican Party leaders turned aside an effort Thursday to change the rules at their national convention to make it harder for the GOP to choose a fresh presidential candidate, a prelude to what may be sharper battles ahead.
RNC rejects rule change making it harder to nominate compromise candidate