Peter Munro

Naked Politics Blogger

The Cruz and Kasich campaigns issued public statements announcing that they are joining forces in a last ditch effort to stop Donald Trump from winning the Republican nomination. The strategy, which both campaigns have been devising for weeks, aims to prevent Trump from reaching the required number of 1,237 delegates.

The agreement between Cruz and Kasich means that one will not campaign or use any resources in the states where the other is more likely to steal the precious delegates away from Trump. The tactics have been in the works for weeks and have now been finalised.

Indiana’s primary on May 3rd is going to be a significant one. John Kasich has pulled out resources and official campaign material from the Hoosier state, allowing Ted Cruz to go head to head with Trump. Cruz noted that “we are now focused very, very heavily on the state of Indiana”.

Kasich’s chief strategist, John Weaver, commented that “due to the fact that Indiana is a winner take all primary, keeping Trump from winning is critical to keeping him under 1,237” and that “given the current dynamics of the primary there, we will shift our campaign’s resources West and give the Cruz campaign a clear path in Indiana”.

Additionally, their arrangement also includes the primaries in Oregon and New Mexico, held in May and June respectively. Cruz plans to step aside in these states, laying a clear path for the Ohio Governor. Both Oregon and New Mexico are proportional, which means that Kasich is going to have to campaign hard in order to prevent Trump from picking up any delegates.

These arrangements are only a preview of what is yet to come between Ted Cruz and John Kasich. It is very likely that, behind closed doors, both campaigns will be looking for more opportunities to collaborate and scheme against Donald Trump. What has been made clear to the public and the media is only a small amount of the planning that has been devised by the campaigns. I’m sure that there will be plenty more to come.

Nobody expected Trump to be this successful. I certainly didn’t and now the Republicans are doing everything in their power to prevent him from running away with the delegates. If Cruz and Kasich take Trump to the party convention, then it will be very difficult for him to win the nomination, as his support has always rested with grass-roots conservatism. Cruz, on the other hand, as the establishment candidate has the party machine and the ‘higher’ members in his favour and is therefore more likely to win at the convention.

I find it funny how completely unpredictable this primary season has been for the Republicans. Just weeks ago, anti-Trump conservatives, mostly the Cruz campaign, were calling for Kasich to drop out of the race, in order to give Cruz a head-to-head contest with Trump. However, now, the Cruz campaign desperately need Kasich to remain in the race for them to have any chance to derail the Trump train.

As a Democrat, it feels like a win-win situation for me. Either way, I feel confident that no crazy Republican will be in The White House next year. If Cruz and Kasich’s plan manages to work, and Trump loses, then I still remain confident that a Democrat will beat Cruz and Kasich. Also, Trump will not be the President, which is always a bonus. However, if Trump does advance on to win the nomination, then I feel that the nominated Democrat will be a lot more successful in picking up independents and moderates than Trump, who continues to alienate every faction of society.

Trump reacted to these arrangements in his usual fashion, through angry tweets. “Desperation!” was how he described the partnership between Cruz and Kasich. Trump’s media director also followed suit and took to Twitter to comment on the news, blasting the “two losing politicians”. “They will FAIL!” he tweeted.

After his massive win in New York, Trump is set to continue to pick up a substantial amount of delegates in the coming days. 5 states in the North-eastern territories, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, all have their primaries on April 26th. A total of 172 delegates are available between these states and Trump is more than likely to win large majorities. The state of the race will be a lot clearer after the North-eastern territories have completed their primaries.

With not many states left, this plan from Cruz and Kasich will have to work flawlessly in order to prevent Trump from winning the nomination. However, my prediction, as of now, is that Trump will win the nomination, and the majority of reluctant Republicans will be forced to rally around him in order to save the party from splitting. However, as is the constant trend in this unpredictable election, I am probably wrong.


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Last Update: April 28, 2018