Donald Trump officially clinched the Republican nomination for president on Tuesday, culminating an unexpected and tumultuous political ascent that energized dissatisfied Americans and alarmed the establishment. He vowed to win in November.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, the chair of the Republican convention whose tepid support for the billionaire businessman hung over the party confab in Cleveland, formally declared the delegate count valid and the Trump nomination secure.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was then overwhelmingly approved as the party’s vice presidential selection.
Fears for months that the convention would spiral into chaos over discomfort with Trump and fierce party divisions over who should represent it in the fall election all-but evaporated in the mid-July heat as Trump cruised to victory on the first ballot.
When Donald Trump Jr. stepped to the microphone, his father was in reach of the goal of 1,237 delegates and the convention left it to New York to seal the deal.
“It’s my honor to be able to throw Donald Trump over the top in the delegate tonight with 89 delegates,” the younger Trump said. “Congratulations, Dad. We love you.”
The crowd roared as the Frank Sinatra stand-by “New York, New York” serenaded the delegates. The unifying moment, at least temporarily, eclipsed a shaky vice presidential selection process and convention-week controversies over party rules and Melania Trump’s speech.
Trump addressed the crowd via video, thanking the delegates for their support and saying that the nomination process had come to a close. He pivoted to the general election and projected the outcome.
“We will win in November,” he said.
Despite the resounding climax to a bruising primary and pre-convention process, there were a few interesting moments on the floor.
For openers, Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida received votes, as did Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Cruz was the only one of the three scheduled to address the delegates in person.
The District of Columbia did not cast a single delegate vote during its primary for Trump, but its tally of 19 went to him anyway due to a quirk in the federal city’s rules that give the nominee all the spoils.
When New Hampshire’s turn came to announce its support, fired Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski cast the state’s 11 delegates for him. It was an awkward moment as Lewandowski came to the microphone and addressed Trump as “my friend.”
And later in the evening, Ryan, the nation’s most powerful elected Republican, stepped to the podium to push the party campaign forward — and barely mentioned Trump at all.
Trump will face Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, in the general election. Both are not popular with the public at a time when millions of Republicans and Democrats are hungry for a candidate they can not only support, but like, too.
In the latest Economist/YouGov poll of 1,300 registered voters conducted July 15-17, Clinton led Trump 40 to 37 percent. Accounting for the survey’s margin of error, the race is essentially a dead heat.
Job creation, health care, national security and fighting terrorism were areas that survey respondents said would influence their vote.
Minutes later, Clinton, posted a simple tweet saying “Let’s do this,” and attaching a video of an interview she had with Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon.