NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump says that if the GOP tries to deny him the party's nomination even if he's within reach of sufficient delegates at convention time, "We'd have riots.''
Trump told CNN "Newsday'' Wednesday morning he's brought large numbers of people into the party.
"The really big story is how many people are voting in these primaries,'' he said. "If you just disenfranchise these people, I think you would have problems like you've never seen before.''
He told anchor Chris Cuomo, "I wouldn't lead it,'' but said it could happen.
Trump cited a hypothetical scenario where he'd go to the Cleveland convention in July with roughly 1,000 delegates and a rival would show up there with 500.
He said he believes he'll nail down the nomination before the convention and said he couldn't imagine failing to get the party's nomination virtually "automatically'' in such a scenario.
Trump said, "I don't even want to think about'' what he'd do if he's in such an advantageous position but still does not become the nominee.
The GOP front-runner strengthened his hand with wins in Florida, North Carolina and Illinois Tuesday, but fell in Ohio to that state's governor, John Kasich.
But with Tuesday's wins, Trump has just about half the delegates he needs to win the nomination outright, CBS News reported.
Trump needs to win 54 percent of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination by the time the primary season ends on June 7. He could reach the goal by winning most of the states that award all of their delegates to the winner.
Meanwhile, the Republican presidential debate scheduled for Monday in Salt Lake City has been canceled after Trump and Kasich said they would not attend.
Karen Boe, a spokeswoman for the Salt Palace Convention Center, said they were informed Wednesday morning that the event was being scrapped.
Trump said Wednesday morning he would not participate because "we've had enough debates'' and said on Fox News that he's committed to a big speech the same night.
Kasich's spokesman then said he won't debate without Trump onstage.
The debate was scheduled a day before Utah's caucus and Arizona's primary. It would have been the first presidential debate held in Utah.
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