Global Independent Analytics

The Real Kasich Threat

Trump and Cruz fear Republican convention delegates might prefer a winner

The Wall Street Journal reports: All of a sudden the two Republican presidential front-runners seem unnaturally preoccupied with the guy in third place, and they’re teaming up to demand that John Kasich drops out. Why not let the voters decide, as Donald Trump and Ted Cruz otherwise like to say?

“Every day John Kasich stays in the race benefits Donald Trump,” claimed Trump last month and immediately launched an ad accusing Kasich of cronyism. Cruz, in his turn, carpet-bombed Kasich’s state challenging his economic and fiscal record.

The author of the article continues: “Mr. Trump is even more offended by Mr. Kasich’s existence. “If I didn’t have Kasich, I automatically win,” he said at a Sunday rally. The businessman added to reporters in Milwaukee on Monday that Mr. Kasich “shouldn’t be allowed to continue, and the RNC [Republican National Committee] shouldn’t allow him to continue. . . . He doesn’t have to run and take my votes, because he’s taking my votes, and he’s not taking Ted Cruz’s votes, he’s taking my votes.”

However, Trump’s perception of democracy is rather unusual: in fact, candidates do not own voters, and neither do party committees, which also cannot dictate nominees. Nevertheless, the duo does have a shared interest in repulsing Kasich off the race.

Trump has a rather narrow path that could lead him to the office: he should win at least 1,237-delegate majority, and in order to get this number Trump should scare Kasich away from winning in the southern New England and mid-Atlantic states. This way Trump’s victory in a two-man race is almost beyond controversy.

As for Cruz, he would better win nearly every remaining primary to get the needed number of delegates. But, knowing that Kasich is very likely to win states like Pennsylvania and Maryland, Cruz has no other way but to join Trump in his campaign against Kasich, driving him out of the race, even if that move would cost Cruz his votes.

According to the Real Clear Politics average, Kasich defeats Hillary Clinton by 6.3 points; Cruz is losing by 3.1 and Trump by 10.8. In order to change the polls, the duo might want to try way harder to change their public images.

The author of the article concludes: “Mr. Kasich did the public service of winning Ohio’s delegates—with which Mr. Trump might have locked up the nomination—and he deserves a chance to see if he can win Pennsylvania or pick up delegates in the East and California. He has no hope of reaching 1,237 delegates before the convention, but what Messrs. Trump and Cruz really fear is that the convention might want to nominate a potential winner.”

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