Someone else has noticed what I’ve been pointing out: the GOP’s unbound delegates may matter a lot.

The ultimate result of the 2016 presidential election could yet rest on the likes of Erling “Curly” Haugland, 69, a businessman from Bismarck, North Dakota, who will be one of the 2,472 delegates to the Republican party convention in July. And he isn’t saying what he’ll do.

“I wouldn’t know until the day of the first ballot [at the convention in Cleveland, Ohio] because a lot can happen between now and then,” he said.

And by July the pressure to dump Trump may be so strong delegates will go faithless and pick Cruz, Rubio, or even (God help us) Romney.

Eventually all these Kasich and Rubio delegates will be unbound, too, unless they catch fire and stay in till the end. Add them to Carson’s and the unbound delegates more than triple, and could exceed 500 by the time they drop out.

Remember, all the candidates beat Trump in a two man race, that’s why they’ve been attacking each other so much despite Trump being frontrunner.

And there are so many WTA states late in the race that Donald may get to 45% and still not get any delegates from a lot of them, so his falling ceiling (Trump got 35% on Super Tuesday, but 33% on Super Saturday even with fewer candidates) is a problem for his campaign if that trend continues.

It’s still quite possible two non-Trump candidates drop out after 3/15 and the other can win enough WTA states to win the first ballot. But the longer more people stay in, the less likely that becomes, and the more likely that we all get ready for classes in the fall…

UPDATE: My theory of the race at the moment is that 1) Trump does better among what might be called “Big White Ghetto” areas where a lot of the low-income voters are protectionist Republicans 2) Cruz is coalescing support around his core of conservatives. Predictions are hard, and that could be totally wrong, but if true it would lead to something like this:

IDAHO: Cruz wins strong
MISSISSIPPI: Trump wins narrowly
HAWAII: Cruz wins
MICHIGAN: Trump wins

We’ll see how this holds up tonight… and whether Rubio is still in the race tomorrow.