Reuters Ohio, United States
Jul 20, 2016, 02.21 AM
After vanquishing 16 party rivals, warring with much of the Republican establishment and provoking controversy at his party's convention, Donald Trump on Tuesday (July 19) secured the party's 2016 nomination for the White House.
His son, Donald Trump Jr., announced the support of New York, their home state, during a roll-call vote at the Republican National Convention, ensuring Trump had the majority of delegates - 1,237 - needed to contest the Nov 8, 2016, US presidential election.
With three of Trump's other children at his side, the son said: "It is my honor to be able to throw Donald Trump over the top in the delegate count tonight."
The state-by-state vote to put Trump's name in nomination took place a day after opponents staged a failed attempt to force a vote opposing his candidacy, and after a speech by his wife, Melania, drew accusations of plagiarism.
US senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, an early backer of Trump, placed the New York businessman's name in nomination, calling him "a warrior and a winner." US House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan, the country's highest-ranking elected Republican, ran the meeting and launched the nominating process.
Despite threats of another chaotic day at the Quicken Loans basketball arena in Cleveland, anti-Trump Republican US Senator Mike Lee said efforts by some delegates to block Trump's nomination appeared finished.
I don't see any way around it, the Utah lawmaker said.
Trump's campaign has been marked by frequent controversy over his rhetoric on Muslims, Hispanics, illegal immigration and trade, alarming many in the Republican establishment.
Party officials are hoping to use the four-day convention, which began on Monday, to smooth out some of his rough edges and present him as a job creator and a strong hand to combat security threats at home and abroad.
After the vote of the states, Trump was due to receive the blessing on stage of other senior Republicans, including Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
Both Ryan and McConnell need Trump to do well in the November election as they seek to preserve Republican majorities in Congress.
Trump, a 70-year-old real estate developer and former reality TV star who has never held elective office, trails Democrat Hillary Clinton, 68, in many opinion polls after a bruising Republican primary season.
Trump narrowed his deficit against Clinton to seven percentage points from 15 points late last week, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.
Clinton is expected to be formally nominated at the Democratic convention next week in Philadelphia.