Cruz and Kasich Join Forces to Stop Trump Short of 1237 Delegates

Because no matter what he does, Trump seems unable to derail his own campaign, John Kasich and Ted Cruz have announced they are joining forces to put an end to Trump’s race to 1,237 delegates, apparently based on the old adage that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Trump tweeted Thursday that, “Both Ted Cruz and John Kasich have no path to victory. They should both drop out of the race so that the Republican Party can unify!”

The two men did unify, but not in a way that Trump has found pleasing. Instead, the two issued statements separately, with Cruz putting his focus on keeping Indiana out of Trump’s hands, and Kasich Oregon and New Mexico. Their alliance is limited to those states.

This is the statement released by Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe Sunday:

“Having Donald Trump at the top of the ticket in November would be a sure disaster for Republicans. Not only would Trump get blown out by Clinton or Sanders, but having him as our nominee would set the party back a generation. 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, and we would hope that allies of both campaigns would follow our lead. In other states holding their elections for the remainder of the primary season, our campaign will continue to compete vigorously to win.”

This is what Kasich for America chief strategist John Weaver had to say Sunday:

“Donald Trump doesn’t have the support of a majority of Republicans – not even close, but he currently does have almost half the delegates because he’s benefited from the existing primary system. Our goal is to have an open convention in Cleveland, where we are confident a candidate capable of uniting the Party and winning in November will emerge as the nominee. We believe that will be John Kasich, who is the only candidate who can defeat Secretary Clinton and preserve our GOP majority in the Congress.

Due to the fact that the Indiana primary is winner-take-all statewide and by congressional district, keeping Trump from winning a plurality in Indiana is critical to keeping him under 1237 bound delegates before Cleveland. We are very comfortable with our delegate position in Indiana already, and 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.

In turn, we will focus our time and resources in New Mexico and Oregon, both areas that are structurally similar to the Northeast politically, where Gov. Kasich is performing well. We would expect independent third-party groups to do the same and honor the commitments made by the Cruz and Kasich campaigns.

We expect to compete with both the Trump and Cruz campaigns in the remaining primary states.”

The Indiana and Oregon primaries take place in May. New Mexico’s primary is held in June. The Republican convention is in July.

Trump responded to the news of their alliance as he usually does, taking to Twitter to condemn his opponents last night:

Just before midnight he added,

“Lyin’ Ted and Kasich are mathematically dead and totally desperate. Their donors & special interest groups are not happy with them. Sad!”

Trump’s social media director, Dan Scavino, leveled similar invective at the two men, tweeting, “Two losing politicians-mathematically eliminated from receiving the nomination-trying something NEW! They will FAIL!”

This is not to say Cruz and Kasich are suddenly best buds. Cruz has already said Kasich has no path to victory and claimed he is running to be Trump’s VP, while Kasich is desperate to prove he does have a chance:


kasich-nomination

Kasich has called Cruz “Senator Smear,” and tweeted last night, “Most of the country simply doesn’t like [Trump & Cruz],” both of which at least have the virtue of being true.

The best Cruz and Kasich can hope for is a contested convention because at this point, neither man can beat Trump to 1237. According to Cruz, all Kasich is doing by remaining in the race is helping Trump, but Trump Thursday called on both Cruz AND Kasich to drop out, tweeting that, “Senator Ted Cruz has been MATHEMATICALLY ELIMINATED from race. He said Kasich should get out for same reason. I think both should get out!”

Cruz says Kasich has no clear path (worse, Red State argues Kasich is guaranteeing Trump a first ballot win) but Cruz needs to look in the mirror. Donald Trump is right: he has run away with the race, never looking back. And so the unholy alliance has been born, with one goal in mind.

If they can survive the first ballot in Cleveland – and that chance ends if Trump gets to 1237 – the ability of Trump’s delegates to vote for another candidate on the second and successive ballots could achieve what neither man has been able to during the primaries: defeat Donald Trump.