GROVE CITY, Pa. (WYTV) – Republican Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are all campaigning in Pennsylvania ahead of Tuesday’s primary.
Monday, C-Span has parked its TV studio on wheels at Grove City College and is hearing from students for its “Voices on the Road” segment.
With voters going to the polls Tuesday in five states, more than 170 delegates will be up for grabs. Those delegates being picked in Pennsylvania could make a big impact on the GOP Convention this summer in Cleveland.
Unlike Ohio, which was a winner-take-all state, only 17 of the 71 delegates in Pennsylvania will go to the winner of Tuesday’s Primary. The rest are not bound to any specific candidate.
Grove City College Professor Michael Coulter said that could make a huge difference in determining the eventual Republican nominee.
“You see these names, and it’s really more honorific to be a delegate from Pennsylvania because it didn’t determine the nomination, but this year it really could,” he said. “These 54 people will be unknown to many people tomorrow. Who ends up being the 54 delegates… they could be the center of a lot of attention come July in Cleveland.”
Donald Trump is expected to win Tuesday’s primaries in Pennsylvania and four other eastern states. Republican presidential candidates John Kasich and Ted Cruz are now joining forces to keep Trump from receiving the 1,237 delegates needed to lock the Republican nomination.
Neither Kasich or nor Cruz can pick up enough delegates for the nomination, so they are hoping for a contested, or brokered convention in which the candidate is chosen.
Coulter sees this strategy as a sort of “Hail Mary pass” to keep Trump from continuing his momentum.
“You might as well throw for the end zone if you’re Ted Cruz or John Kasich, and so that’s what they’re doing, in reality, from a purely strategy standpoint. They really should have done it earlier,” he said.
Grove City College student Eloise Smith said the move makes sense.
“Together, they can work together obviously, rather than tear each other down,” she said.
Coulter predicts if Trump is close to the number he needs to win, many of the unbound delegates may end up supporting him just to avoid a contested convention.
Those voting in Tuesday’s Republican primary in Pennsylvania should expect to see a very different ballot than what Ohioans saw in their state’s primary election last month.
In March, voters saw the names of candidates who were still in the race at that time, even though they were actually choosing delegates who were pledged to those candidates. In Pennsylvania, voters will not only get to support the presidential candidate of their choice, they will also choose three specific delegates to attend the GOP National Convention.