- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Most Republican and GOP-leaning independent voters agree with Donald Trump and say the candidate with the most support in party primaries and caucuses should win the party’s backing at the Republican National Convention in July, even if that candidate doesn’t head into Cleveland with an outright majority of delegates.

Sixty percent said if no candidate has won a majority after the first round of voting at the convention, the delegates should vote for the candidate with the most support in the primaries and caucuses, while 38 percent said the delegates should vote for the person they feel would be the best candidate, according to a CNN/ORC poll released this week.

Mr. Trump has warned against denying him the presidential nomination if he heads into the convention with the most delegates. The latest tally, according to The Associated Press, has Mr. Trump with 680, Sen. Ted Cruz with 424 and Ohio Gov. John Kasich with 143.

Overall, Mr. Trump led the field with 47 percent support, with Mr. Cruz at 31 percent and Mr. Kasich at 17 percent.

Some Republicans determined to stop Mr. Trump are trying to prevent him from winning the 1,237 majority of delegates needed to clinch the nomination outright, then taking their chances on a second or third ballot when many delegates would be freed up to vote for the candidates of their choice.

There has also been some talk about tapping a candidate not currently in the race if Mr. Trump, Mr. Cruz or Mr. Kasich can’t win a majority before the convention. But 84 percent said the party should nominate one of the three remaining candidates, and just 15 percent said they should nominate someone else.

Almost two-thirds — 65 percent — said they would not like to see a Republican launch a third-party candidacy if Mr. Trump wins the nomination, compared with 35 percent who said they would want another Republican to run.

Mathematically, Mr. Kasich can’t get to 1,237 delegates before the convention and has been pitching his electability in the general election as a reason why things might swing his way in Cleveland.

But 70 percent said he should drop out of the race, compared with 27 percent who said he should stay in.

Forty-six percent said the Republican Party will be divided in November, compared with 45 percent who said they think it is divided now but will be united in November and 8 percent who said they think the party is united now.

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