Donald Trump’s rivals are running out of time to stop him.

After Saturday’s dominant performance in South Carolina, a close look at the calendar of upcoming elections suggests the New York billionaire’s rivals have until mid-March to slow him down.

After that, their only chance to keep Trump from representing the Republican Party in the general election may be a nasty, public fight at the GOP’s national convention.

The reason is delegates – and how they’re awarded in the Republican Party.

While winning states generates headlines, a candidate wins the party’s nomination by collecting a majority of the delegates awarded in presidential primaries and caucuses.

This year, most Republican contests award delegates proportionally, based on each candidate’s share of the vote. That could make it hard for Trump to build a big lead, because even the second- and third-place finisher can win delegates.

But if one candidate is able to run up a significant lead – as Trump has begun to – proportional contests also make it difficult for others to catch up.

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