(CNN) – Paul Ryan brushing off the idea that he could be drawn into the presidential race, “It’s not going to be me. It should be somebody running for president. People are out there campaigning.”
However the house speaker is not stepping away from the prospect his party might be heading towards a contested convention, “This is more likely to become an open convention than we thought before, so we’re getting our minds around the idea that this could very well become a reality.”
This comes as conservatives belonging to the “Stop Trump” movement are huddling in Washington Thursday.
Sources tell CNN there was “absolute consensus” in the closed-door meeting on trying to stop trump from getting the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination, but that there was a “real division” about launching a third-party challenge if trump ultimately becomes the nominee.
Trump’s team encouraging republicans opposed to Trump to rethink their strategy, “When we get to Cleveland, he’s going to be our nominee and , you know, some of these guys are gonna have to decide how much damage they are willing to do to the party because they don’t like that,” said senior advisor Barry Bennett.
The potential for a contested convention is now pushing the GOP candidates into effectively waging *two* campaigns side-by-side.
“Look, if Donald might come in and we’re neck-in-neck and neither of us are at 1237, then it’s a battle for the remaining delegates, then it’s actually how a convention normally operates,” said Sen. Ted Cruz.
Also scrambling to prepare their back-up plans if the nominating fight is still unsettled before republicans gather in Cleveland this July.
“It is unlikely that anybody is going to achieve enough delegates to avoid a convention,” said Gov. John Kasich.
The campaigns making their calibrations from the sobering reality they face when it comes to the math.
Candidates need to get to 1237 delegates to clinch the nomination *before* the convention.
Based on the current delegate counts.
Donald Trump would need to win a little more than 50 percent of the remaining delegates to reach that mark. Ted Cruz would need roughly 80 percent and for John Kasich it would be mathematically impossible, he would need about 108 percent.
South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham today telling CNN’s Dana Bash that he sees Cruz as the best hope for stopping Trump, “I think the best alternative to Donald Trump to stop him from getting 1237 is Ted Cruz, and I’m going to help ted in every way I can.”
A source familiar with that conservative meeting says leaders also discussed forming a joint Cruz-Kasich ticket, but the source says no one is committed to that idea yet, “because of the egos involved.”