Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) spoke to local ABC affiliate WHAS11 in Louisville, Kentucky where he apparently said he's confidant that a nominee will not be chosen on the first ballot at the GOP convention in Cleveland.
Just because Donald Trump does not win on the first ballot doesn't necessarily mean he couldn't win on the second or even third ballot, but if we're being real that is clearly not what McConnell is intimating.
“It is important for everyone to understand that the convention rules will require you to get 1,237 delegate votes and until one gets to 1,237 they will not be the nominee,” McConnell said.
He did not name the candidate but said one appears to be “suggesting that it’s somehow tricky to simply follow the rules of the convention.”
It may not technically be "tricky" to nominate someone else if the frontrunner doesn't reach the magic number of delegates, but the party would still be in the position of nominating someone who received significantly less votes and delegates than the frontrunner. They could theoretically nominate someone who has received no votes and no delegates.
There's no doubt in my mind Trump will burn the party to the ground if they deny him the nomination especially if he sweeps the next couple primaries beginning with New York tomorrow. His ego won't allow for anything else and the people who've voted for him would be justifiably angry.
Democratic voters would also be angry if their frontrunner who has received significantly more votes and delegates than the next closest rival was denied the nomination.
Trump voters may be supporting him for terrible reasons, but that is their right and a majority of Republicans have voted for Trump.
Handing the GOP nomination to someone else could be really bad for the entire country, not just the GOP. What little confidence there is in public institutions could crumble and that has ramifications for everyone.