The AP is declaring this to be a milestone day for Donald Trump: The news service says he has reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination. The declaration comes after interviews with some of the party's unbound delegates, who told the AP they would support him at the convention. It takes 1,237 delegates to win the GOP nomination, and Trump is at 1,238 by the AP's count. With 303 delegates at stake in five state primaries on June 7, Trump will presumably pad his total, avoiding a contested convention in Cleveland in July.
Among the unbound delegates who spoke to the AP is Oklahoma GOP chairwoman Pam Pollard. "I think he has touched a part of our electorate that doesn't like where our country is," she said. "I have no problem supporting Mr. Trump." Steve House, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, is another. "Leadership is leadership," he said. "If he can surround himself with the political talent, I think he will be fine." Others who confirmed their decision to back Trump were more tepid, saying they are supporting him out of a sense of obligation because he won their state's primary. Cameron Linton of Pittsburgh said he will back Trump on the first ballot because he won the presidential primary vote in Linton's congressional district. But "if there's a second ballot I won't vote for Donald Trump," he said. "He's ridiculous. There's no other way to say it."