“I think a lot of people think if he gets within 50-100 [of 1,237], he’ll be able to carry it,” said Steve House, the Colorado GOP chairman, who is himself an unbound delegate and is already being courted by the Trump and Cruz campaigns.

The whisper conversations about this indeterminate “real number” that Trump must hit by June 7 reveal a growing if reluctant consensus among party officials and establishment Republicans that if he gets close enough, they can’t take the nomination away…

But an operative close to Trump’s team indicated that the campaign is ready to pull out all the stops to woo unbound delegates if the nomination comes down to it.

“This is like a Super Bowl ticket. The price only goes up,” the operative said. “If I were a delegate, I’d say I’m unpledged and hang my hat out there…wine me and dine me. I think there are going to be some free trips to Cleveland…that is time-tested and true in terms of delegates who are unpledged and campaigns doing what they need to do to get to their magic number.”