To stop the billionaire from hitting, or coming very close to, the magic number of 1,237 delegates needed to seal the Republican nomination and to raise the prospect of a contested convention, they must do more than simply start snapping up victories in the remaining nominating contests: They must fundamentally reshape the political map.

Cruz, the Texas senator seen as extreme by many mainstream voters, would suddenly have to start appealing to moderates. And Kasich, the Ohio governor branded a RINO (Republican in Name Only) by many grass-roots activists must suddenly find an invisible connection to conservatives.

And even if that worked, both men would have to start winning big in precincts and entire states that look nothing like those where they have had success so far.

“If things continue on the same trajectory that they are on right now. Trump is going to get to 1,237 delegates or awfully close to 1,237,” said University of Georgia Professor Joshua Putnam, an expert of the delegate math and publisher of the Frontloading Hq blog.

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