In a new twist that is best described as coordinated desperation, John Kasich suspended his campaign in Indiana hoping that Ted Cruz will pick up his votes. In return, Ted Cruz suspended his campaign in Oregon and New Mexico. Donald Trump blasted the move as an act of desperation, which of course it is.
In response to the the coordinated break-up, Trump made a number of Tweets.
HOUSTON, Texas – Cruz for President Campaign Manager Jeff Roe today released the following statement:
“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.”
Tonight, Kasich for America chief strategist John Weaver issued the following statement:
“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.”
Too Late to Matter?
Coordinated desperation may affect the delegate math, but in what ways is not necessarily certain. For example, disenfranchised Kasich supporters may just decide to stay home.
Some Indiana voters may very well support Trump as their second choice. Sill others may not like the collusion. Finally, despite the collusion, many may vote for Kasich anyway.
On average, I would expect this to help Cruz, but not necessarily, especially in regards to tipping Indiana into the Cruz camp.
However, we now need a new set of Indiana polls. The ones we have are now invalid.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock