Top Republicans increasingly eyeing Paul Ryan as nominee?

EXCLUSIVE: On the eve of the Wisconsin primaries, top Republicans are becoming increasingly vocal about their long-held belief that Speaker Paul Ryan will wind up as the nominee, perhaps on the fourth ballot at a chaotic Cleveland convention. One of the nation’s best-wired Republicans, with an enviable prediction record for this cycle, sees a 60% chance of a convention deadlock, and a 90% chance that delegates turn to Ryan – ergo, a 54% chance that Ryan, who’ll start the third week of July as chairman of the Republican National Convention, will end it as the nominee. “He’s the most conservative, least establishment member of the establishment,” the Republican source said. “That’s what you need to be.”
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Ryan, who’s more calculating and ambitious than he lets on, is running the same playbook he did to become Speaker: saying he doesn’t want it, that it won’t happen. In both cases, the maximum leverage is to NOT WANT IT – and to be begged to do it. He and his staff are trying to be as Shermanesque as it gets. Ryan repeated his lack of interest this morning in an interview from Israel with radio host Hugh Hewitt.
But of course in this environment, saying you don’t want the job is the ONLY way to get it. If he was seen to be angling for it, he’d be stained and disqualified by the current mess. But Ryan, 46, a likable Midwesterner, could look too tempting to resist as Republicans finally focus on a beatable Hillary Clinton.