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The Lid: How a Contested GOP Convention Could Happen

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Ben Carson suspended his presidential campaign on Friday. Or, as critics of the sometimes sleepy sounding candidate would say: He finally "woke up" to reality.

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Despite Attacks, Trump's Rivals Vow to Support Him if He Is GOP Nominee 1:48

'16 from 30,000

We heard a lot of talk about contested conventions this week, and thankfully, NBC's Mark Murray ran the numbers to break down what would need to happen for convention chaos to become a reality. And, as The Lid's favorite news icon Tim Russert once said, it comes down "Florida, Florida, Florida" and -- in this case -- Ohio, Ohio, Ohio. By the NBC News count, Trump holds an 88 delegate lead over Ted Cruz with a number of proportional GOP contests taking place over the next seven days. Let's assume those break down similarly to how the previous 15 GOP contests have and fast forward to March 15.

IF Trump wins Florida and Ohio on that day, he'll need just 50 percent of the remaining delegates to reach the 1,237 needed to clinch the nomination. With John Kasich and Marco Rubio likely to exit the race if they lose their home states, Trump would be very much in control. He would still be in a good position if he won Florida and Kasich won Ohio. In that scenario, Trump would need 57 percent of the remaining delegates -- still reachable.

The convention chaos scenario happens, however, if Rubio wins Florida and Kasich takes Ohio. In that case, Trump is still the leader but must take 66 percent of the remaining delegates. That would be a tall climb, especially considering the momentum it would give his rivals. More on the math here.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

FOR THE RECORD…

"Could we just stop?"

  • Ben Carson on the personal attacks being hurled by GOP presidential hopefuls

WEEKEND SKED

Kansas, Kentucky GOP, Louisiana, Maine GOP, and Nebraska Dems hold nominating contests on Saturday.

Mitt Romney (and Kevin Spacey!) join Chuck Todd on Meet The Press Sunday.

Puerto Rico GOP and Maine Dems vote Sunday.