WASHINGTON, April 25, 2016 – After losing dozens of primaries across the country, Gov. John Kasich has decided to team up with Sen. Ted Cruz in an attempt to keep Donald Trump from securing the Republican nomination. Mathematically, neither Kasich nor Cruz can clinch the nomination, and now they hope to force Trump into a brokered convention.
Cruz and Kasich will still fight for delegates, but their strategy has turned into a divide and conquer. Cruz is now focused mainly on Indiana, and Kasich is focused on Oregon and New Mexico.
The Cruz-Kasich partnership comes after Trump said Cruz was “mathematically eliminated” from the primary race because Trump is the only one with a shot of securing the 1,237 delegates needed. If Trump doesn’t reach that magic number, he could face a contested convention in July. At that point, hundreds of delegates who are currently bound to Trump could get a shot to throw their support behind any of the candidates.
Five states are holding primaries on April 26, with 126 delegates at stake. Cruz and Kasich see Indiana’s “winner-take-all” contest as the moment they could stop Trump’s continued rise to the nomination.
In response to the new alliance, Trump tweeted, “Wow, just announced that Lyin’ Ted and Kasich are going to collude in order to keep me from getting the Republican nomination. DESPERATION!”
The decision for Cruz and Kasich to cede states to each other comes days after Cruz’s major loss in New York, which made it mathematically impossible for him to clinch the nomination based on pledged delegates. Kasich is scheduled to hold two town hall meetings in Oregon on Thursday.
The plan has the potential to halt Trump and force a contested convention. If none of the candidates reach the 1,237 delegate threshold, the voting at the national GOP convention will go to a second round, where each candidate will scramble to win delegates.
However, the plan to could fail badly. The strategy to cede states to each other could also lead to a stronger Trump victory in certain states. Some voters see Kasich as too much of an outside chance and may not vote for him in the primaries.
Competition almost certainly will heat up as the convention gets closer, with Trump scrambling to get the required delegates and the anti-Trump campaign doing everything it can to stop him.