WASHINGTON, April 25, 2016 – While the GOP presidential delegate sweepstakes is escalating with the new Ted Cruz Governor John Kasich campaign alliance, the front runner may be close to putting the 2016 political war to bed due to a new national poll.
According to NBC News, Donald Trump has finally reached 50 percent support from Republicans as well as Republican leaners based upon a NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll.
This is significant because the anti-Trump forces have alleged for several months that the billionaire candidate would never get to the coveted 50 percent national support point. Trump had hovered around the 35 percent national support mark in many national polls while netting about 35 to 40 percent of the vote.
The narrative has changed and perhaps the outcome of the delegate hunt as well.
Delegate math is important because now that both Cruz and Kasich have been mathematically eliminated from reaching the 1,237 delegates necessary to secure the nomination on the first ballot, the newly hatched Kasich/Cruz pact may be their only desperation move left to stop Trump just short of the delegate finish line of 1,237.
Yet, in order to work, both Kasich and Cruz campaign forces have to muster some degree of momentum in the states that each has opted to campaign against Trump one-on-one in. Kasich has bowed out of continued campaigning in Indiana while Cruz has agreed to tackle Trump in the must win primary on May 3.
Even if Cruz is able to take on Trump in Indiana with Kasich out of the frontline action, there are two problems that the Texas senator will encounter. First, the Ohio governor has not agreed to let his supporters stand down and not vote for him, but to cast their vote for Cruz. Secondly, the most recent Fox News poll has Trump leading both Cruz and Kasich 41 percent to Cruz’s 33 percent and Kasich’s 16 percent.
Of all the battleground states that are crucial to secure in terms of delegates, Indiana is perhaps the only remaining state that the anti-Trump forces, Kasich or Cruz have a realistic chance of stopping the Trump Train in.
Cruz has been on the ground with his campaign crisscrossing the state in an effort to be the firewall against Trump. The stakes are high.
Indiana will have 57 delegates at the GOP Cleveland RNC July convention. It is winner-take-all, of which 27 of the delegates will be awarded in the nine congressional districts. Each district will elect three delegates and each candidate will secure all three if they gain a majority of the votes in that district.
Hence, the Hail Mary political partnership inked out between Kasich and Cruz becomes crucial to their survival in order to force a second ballot vote at the RNC convention.
If Trump maintains his statewide poll lead in Indiana as well as steamrolls through the congressional districts with voter majorities, then it will be game over for both Kasich and Cruz’s campaign aspirations.
The facts do not lie.
Trump only needs to secure 57 percent of the remaining delegates to reach 1,237, while Cruz’s delegate mountain climb is to capture 98% of remaining delegates and Kasich needs to win 158% of the remaining delegates.
In the end, the new national poll may be the final game changer Trump needs in his delegate march to secure the July convention nomination.