Can Donald Trump win the Republican nomination?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 5, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: "Campaign 2016 Segment" tonight, no meaningful polling to tell you about yet this year. A new poll from NBC and Survey Monkey is not scientific although it has Donald Trump leading big.

Last night after he spoke to us on The Factor, Trump headed out to the very liberal state of Massachusetts.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Security at the event also extremely tight. This was a line of people waiting to get in, a line so long that it snaked more than a block away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's straight out front and no BS.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the country is going in the wrong direction. I think we are sliding down and we need a change.


O'REILLY: Joining us now from Austin, Texas Karl Rove. So last night we talked about both political parties in trouble in the sense that they are losing credibility with their own voters, with their own people. That's why Trump has risen.

The question tonight is can Trump actually win the Republican nomination in your opinion?

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, sure he can. But will he is going to be a big question because while he leads nationally with 35 percent of the vote and is second in Iowa with about 27.4 percent and leads in New Hampshire with 26.3 percent, the question is how much of the rest of that, you know, 60 percent, 65 percent, 70 percent of the electorate is going to be available to him inside the Republican party. He has a high floor but he may have a low ceiling.

O'REILLY: I got you. The people who like him already have stated it and that's why he is so far ahead and that he might not be able to convert others over because he's gotten so much air time and so much exposure. Everybody knows who he is unlike Marco Rubio or John Kasich. I mean they know Trump. They know what he is saying. They're following it. And he might not be able to rally any more than that. I understand that.

But with what he has now which is about a third of the Republican voting in the primary, is that a to get him the nomination in Cleveland?

ROVE: Well, it depends on two things, I think. One is how cut up these early primaries and caucuses are between February 1st and the 14th of March, there is only one winner-take-all, South Carolina. The early four states were allowed to decide winner-take-all or proportional. But all the rest of them have to be proportional up to the 14th of March.

So the first question is how cut up is that early phase because the rules are such that in some instances if you get 5 percent of the vote in Massachusetts, for example, you get a delegate. In others the threshold is 15 or 20.

O'REILLY: That's a very interesting point.

So if it's vulcanized (ph) all over the place with Trump winning in New Hampshire which I think he will and I think Ted Cruz will probably win in Iowa. You concur on that, right?

ROVE: Yes, yes.

O'REILLY: But if it's (inaudible) and everybody takes away some, then they're going to arrive in Cleveland with no over the top winner and certainly the party elders do not want Donald Trump.

ROVE: Yes, two things. One is I do think that we are going to have winnowing process very rapidly after New Hampshire. And there are only going to be three or four or maybe at most five candidates left in it in early March and probably less by the middle of March.

Now, the second big question is are we down to two or three candidates? Trump, somebody else and somebody else at most by the time we get to the winner-take-all states starting on the 15th of March. The ides of March -- bad for Caesar, could also be bad for somebody else.

O'REILLY: Well I mean, you do have to consider -- you have to consider that Trump will be in it, Rubio will be in it, Cruz will be in it, Bush will be in it and maybe Christie.

ROVE: Yes.

O'REILLY: I think those are the five. With all due respect to the other candidates I could be wrong on that.

ROVE: Well, if there are five candidates in that, then Trump gets the advantage because on the ides of March, you have 66 delegates up in Ohio. Winner-take-all at the statewide level. You have even more delegates in Florida but there winner-take-all at congressional district level.

But if have five candidates at that point then the odds of Trump becoming the nominee are very high. If it's shrunk down to two or three and there's a consolidation of the non-Trump vote then there's a chance, a good chance that he does not become the nominee.

O'REILLY: All right. That's very fascinating. Very interesting.

All right. So I understand over the Christmas holiday you apprehended two illegal aliens, is that correct, in Texas? Is that what happened?

ROVE: Well, actually they were apprehended by the border patrol. We simply discovered them in the middle of our hunting lease and called the border patrol in. Two guys hanging out underneath the mot -- kept trying to hide, one of them obviously in distress. Both of them dressed in black which the border patrol guys tell you in south Texas is not a good sign. If they are dressed in black it means these guys are pros and one of them was in very bad shape.

After our truck surrounded them mot, he sort of came out and surrendered in return for some water and chocolate. But the other guy was pretty defiant. He snuck out of the back of the mot, crawled out we think in order to hide something. And then when he realized he didn't have any options, he stood up, raised his hands and started walking north knowing that we wouldn't shoot him and so a couple of us trailed him until the border patrol showed up and grabbed him.

I think they had seen these actors before. And these border patrol guys got there as quick as they could. They were very clear they said we need help. We don't have enough resources. We need more assistance and the border is not safe.

O'REILLY: Yes. Well, I believe that. Mr. Rove -- thanks as always. We appreciate it.

Quick footnote Karl's book, "The Triumph of William McKinley" is a must for anybody interested in American history.

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