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While Trump became the presumptive nominee on May 4 after his last opponent dropped out, the billionaire real-estate mogul and former reality-TV star had not yet received 1,237 delegates, the bare majority needed to avoid a contested convention in Cleveland in July.
Trump began his 2016 presidential campaign on July 16, 2015, with a speech that continues to define his candidacy. “They’re rapists,” Trump said of the Mexican people, “and some, I assume, are good people.”
The 69-year-old businessman’s outrageous rhetoric and colorful past blinded many political observers to his populist appeal. In the days leading up to his official campaign launch, however, he rocketed into second place in the polls, behind only former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, an establishment figure many assumed would sail to the nomination with little turbulence.
By July 20, however, Trump had surpassed even Bush, and he consistently led every candidate in crowded GOP field, remaining in the top slot except for a brief dip on Nov. 15, when retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson glided past him for an almost imperceptible moment.
Trump and Clinton are currently neck and neck in the polls. With six months until Election Day, only one thing is certain: It’s about to get ugly.
Andrew Couts is the former editor of Layer 8, a section dedicated to the intersection of the Internet and the state—and the gaps in between. Prior to the Daily Dot, Couts served as features editor and features writer for Digital Trends, associate editor of TheWeek.com, and associate editor at Maxim magazine. When he’s not working, Couts can be found hiking with his German shepherds or blasting around on motorcycles.