Donald Trump’s delegates to the Republican nominating convention are proving to be exceptionally loyal, defying predictions by some analysts that they may flip their support to another candidate if Mr. Trump doesn’t win on the first ballot in Cleveland this summer.
Mr. Trump insists he will win on a first ballot, but his two remaining rivals, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, are banking on being able to deny him an outright majority. That would lead to a contested convention, where they try to stitch their own majority by winning over delegates no longer tied to Mr. Trump after the first ballot.
The outcome would then depend on the people serving as delegates — a process that has been completed in a handful of states. Interviews with The Washington Times show that those assigned to Mr. Trump say they are ready to stick with him at the Cleveland convention as long as he needs them.
“If Mr. Trump goes into the convention with the most delegates and someone else walks out of there and he is denied the first right of refusal, I will leave the Republican Party and I will work the rest of the my life to destroy it,” said New Hampshire state Rep. Daniel Tamburello, one of a slate of 11 Trump delegates from the Granite State. “If they deny him that and somebody else walks out of there against his will against the nominee, I will leave the party.”