In a calculated effort to force a brokered convention and deprive Donald Trump of the 1237 delegates that he needs to win the GOP nomination on a “first ballot,” GOP presidential candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich have brokered a deal to allow one another to win various state primaries. Under the terms of the deal, Kasich will concentrate his efforts on winning in New Mexico and Cruz will concentrate his efforts on Indiana, according to ABC News on Monday.
According to Kasich chief strategist John Weaver, the Kasich campaign also will be focusing its energies on the Oregon Primary. Weaver described New Mexico and Oregon as being “structurally similar to the Northeast politically.” Weaver’s thinking is that since Kasich has been doing well in the northeast, that he will do well in New Mexico and Oregon.
Despite the deal that he has brokered with Cruz, Kasich nevertheless promised to be competitive in Indiana where he still hopes to win some delegates. As Kasich explained it: “I mean, this is a matter of resources, and we’re running a national campaign, and we want to have our resources where we think they could be used most effectively.”
The #NeverTrump Movement:
The #NeverTrump Movement has expressed its support of the Cruz/Kasich deal, stating that it is very important to attain a “second ballot” at the GOP convention in July in Cleveland. The #NeverTrump Movement denoted the advantages of uniting behind the candidate, (either Cruz or Kasich), who is seen as having the best chance of defeating Trump in respective states: “We’ve seen from victories in places like Ohio and Wisconsin that when #NeverTrump forces unite behind the one alternative that’s better suited to that state that we can beat Trump decisively.”
Kasich’s Indiana prospects:
Although Kasich has little or no chance of winning the Indiana Primary, he still could win some, if not all, of that state’s 57 delegates at a brokered GOP convention. This is because at a brokered convention, the delegates are free to vote for the candidates of their choice after the first ballot. If Kasich could convince enough delegates to vote for him on a second or third ballot, he conceivably could win the GOP nomination. The same holds true for Cruz.
Trump responded by accusing Cruz and Kasich of colluding to prevent him from winning the nomination despite the fact he only has ten months experience as a politician: “It is sad that two grown politicians have to collude against one person who has only been a politician for ten months in order to try and stop that person from getting the Republican nomination.”
And then, much like a wounded animal clawing at the nearest passerby, Trump took a swing at the donors and special interest groups for Cruz and Kasich:
“Their donors & special interest groups are not happy with them. Sad!”
Of course, the final verdict as to who is and is not happy with whom is not in yet. Cleveland is getting more and more interesting by the day.