In an exciting, bizarre, miserable election season that has dwarfed the political machinations of every other political plotline in fictional television this year, Ted Cruz and John Kasich have introduced yet another twist: They’re officially joining forces to take down Donald Trump.
Although Cruz and Kasich have unofficially been working together behind the scenes to keep Trump from winning the GOP nomination since the Ohio primary, the two released statements within minutes of each other yesterday outlining their plan to officially divide and conquer. Knowing that they cannot take down Trump head-to-head, they have decided to better target their focus. Ted Cruz will take Indiana, and Kasich will devote all of his efforts on Oregon and New Mexico in an effort to blockTrump from gaining the 1,237 delegates necessary to claim to GOP nomination.
“To ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November, our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Gov. Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico,” Ted Cruz’s campaign manager said in a statement.
That’s an extraordinary move in the world of politics. Trump slammed the arrangement on Twitter.
Wow, just announced that Lyin' Ted and Kasich are going to collude in order to keep me from getting the Republican nomination. DESPERATION!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2016
Lyin' Ted and Kasich are mathematically dead and totally desperate. Their donors & special interest groups are not happy with them. Sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2016
Will it work?
Maybe, although it seems unlikely. Trump does still need 53 percent of the delegates to clinch the nomination, but tomorrow’s primaries are skewing strongly in his favor. In a proportional system (like the one the Democrats have), the two might be able to peel off more than 47 percent of the remaining delegates. However, there are a number of winner-take-all states remaining in the GOP primaries, which means that Trump can take most of the delegates by virtue of coming in first or winning 50 percent of the votes in a given state (or district).
If Kruzich can completely block Trump in New Mexico, Oregon, and Indiana, and gain enough momentum to surpass Trump in California, they might be able to prevent Trump from clinching, but even if Trump doesn’t officially clinch, the GOP is going to have a difficult time handing the nomination to anyone other than Trump. Kruzich is putting all their eggs on a technicality that is not only unlikely, but virtually certain to destroy the GOP.
It makes for great drama. In a more practical sense, however, for Democrats and most Independents, we probably ought to be rooting against a Kruzich “win” by technicality, because Cruz a nightmare . Trump is not only the more palatable candidate, but he also has little chance of winning given his unfavorables among nearly every constituency in the general electorate.