If you can’t beat them…
In what may be one of the strangest moves in a very strange campaign; right wing ideologue Ted Cruz and establishment conservative John Kasich have joined forces to stop Donald Trump.
Fresh off a severe Trump beat down in New York and facing a similar result in tomorrow’s northeastern contests; both Cruz and Kasich have come to the conclusion that the only way to stop Trump from getting the 1,237 delegates required for the nomination is to divide their forces and attack him on two separate fronts.
The latest harebrained idea of the Dump Trump movement goes like this. Cruz will muster all of his resources against Trump in Indiana leaving Kasich to go after Trump in Oregon and New Mexico. The expectations are that rather than dividing the anti-Trump vote the Kasich voters will support Cruz in Indiana while the Cruz voters will go with Kasich in Oregon and New Mexico. This will presumably reduce the proportionate number of delegates awarded to Trump thereby reducing his chances of reaching 1,237 before the convention.
This strategy may sound good in theory but its success rests on the assumption that most of the Indiana Kasich supporters will go with Cruz and most of the Cruz supporters in Oregon and New Mexico will flock to Kasich. It’s based on the “Anyone but Trump” theory.
It seems to me that is a really big assumption.
Cruz and Kasich are very strange bedfellows. They have been sniping at each other to get out of the race for weeks. At the recent RNC meeting staffers from the two campaigns were frequently seen engaged in heated arguments. Now suddenly they are having a kumbaya moment? The enemy of my enemy is my friend? I guess desperation can be a powerful motivator.
I get how the campaign staffers might see this as a viable “one last gasp.” Given the expected results coming tomorrow, Indiana stands as the one last best chance for the anti-Trump folks to derail his nomination before the convention. I just cannot see John Kasich’s moderate constituents voting for Cruz; a guy many of them view as a far more dangerous option than Trump. Nor can I see Cruz “tear down the government” crowd supporting a guy who reeks of establishment politics.
As for Trump…this whole thing is playing right into his “the system is rigged” wheelhouse.
Trump has been complaining for weeks that the “party bosses” are trying to steal the nomination away from him. He rails against losing delegates at local party conventions in states where he has won by double digits. He bellows about the Dump Trump moves to force a contested convention and draft Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney. “The system is rigged.” He says.
The RNC rolls its eyes and responds that the rules are the rules. That’s true. But voters don’t live and breathe this stuff. They think their vote actually matters. Moves like this latest ploy by Cruz and Kasich only bolster Trump’s claim…and his credibility.
Trump responded to the Cruz/Kasich gambit on Twitter: “Wow! Just announced that Lyin’ Ted and Kasich are going to collude in order to keep me from the nomination. DESPERATION!”