Cruz and Kasich team up in deal to stop Donald Trump476 views
Ted Cruz and John Kasich have announced that their campaigns will cede certain states in an attempt to keep Donald Trump from reaching the 1,237 delegates he needs to clinch the Republican nomination.
In a pair of coordinated statements released on Sunday night, the Cruz and Kasich campaigns said that the Texan senator would concentrate his resources in Indiana while the Ohio governor would put all his effort into Oregon and New Mexico.
Both have already stated that they expect there to be a contested convention in Cleveland in July and are already preparing for a second ballot.
However, for that scenario to come to pass, they first need to stop Trump. This apparent agreement seems to be an admission that only way to do so is for his opponents to finally cooperate against him. Under current rules, delegates are only bound by the results of their state’s primary or caucus for the first ballot. On any subsequent ballot, delegates are free to vote their conscience and, since delegate selection is often an entirely separate process from a primary, there is likely to be a significant shift in votes on a second ballot.
Jeff Roe, Cruz’s campaign manager, went first. He said “our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico, and we would hope that allies of both campaigns would follow our lead”.
Cruz has already shifted resources to focus entirely on Indiana, whose 30 winner-take-all statewide delegates represent the biggest individual haul remaining. The state, which holds its primary on 3 May, also allocates three delegates to the winner of each of its nine congressional districts. Polls in the Hoosier State had Trump with a narrow lead ahead of Cruz with Kasich lagging behind. One campaign source indicated that internal polls showed Kasich was dividing the anti-Trump vote in Indiana and serving as a major hindrance to Cruz’s prospects.
The Cruz statement was followed minutes later by a statement from Kasich strategist John Weaver. The veteran operative said “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 1,237 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”.
Weaver added that “in turn, we will focus our time and resources in New Mexico and Oregon, both areas that are structurally similar to the north-east politically, where Governor 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”.
Although the Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment, the candidate responded in a late night tweet: “Wow, just announced that Lyin’ Ted and Kasich are going to collude in order to keep me from getting the Republican nomination. DESPERATION!”
The statement comes just days after Cruz suggested in Florida that Kasich was only staying in the presidential race because “it may be John is auditioning to be Donald’s vice president”. The Texas senator also said earlier on Sunday that the Ohio governor did not have “a plausible path” to the nomination.
Tim Miller, a spokesman for Our Principles PAC, an anti-Trump superPAC said he found the apparent alliance “encouraging.”, when asked for comment via e-mail. He added “See you in Cleveland.”
Oregon, which holds its primary on 17 May, and New Mexico, which votes on 7 June, each have relatively proportional primaries. Oregon allocates its 28 delegates in purely proportional manner while New Mexico has a threshold that requires a candidate to get 15% of the vote.
Both campaigns made it clear that they would compete against each other in all of the remaining primary contests.
Cruz’s campaign chief said: “In other states holding their elections for the remainder of the primary season, our campaign will continue to compete vigorously to win.”
The deal comes more than a month after Kasich squelched an overture from Marco Rubio to engage in strategic voting in their home-state primaries on 15 March. While a Rubio spokesman urged supporters of the Florida senator to vote for Kasich in the Ohio, the Kasich campaign declined to return the favor in Florida.
The deal between the two campaigns came 36 hours before the opening of polls in the so-called Acela Primary, comprising five states in the northeast and mid-Atlantic. Trump is expected to dominate in these states and both Cruz and Kasich are likely to be shut out in the bound-delegate chase in at least three of the states holding contests on Tuesday. However, because 54 of the 71 delegates elected in Pennsylvania will be unbound and free to vote for any candidate, Trump’s rivals could still gain there.
News Source TheGuardian