As Donald Trump continues his quest to become the Republican presidential nominee, it would appear that Ted Cruz and John Kasich have decided to team up to try to ruin his chances.
From the Associated Press via MSN:
Both Cruz and Kasich’s campaigns released statements Sunday saying that Cruz will focus his campaign resources on winning enough delegates in Indiana, while Kasich will focus his efforts on western states including Oregon and New Mexico.
Indiana, the state that Ted Cruz is focused on, is one of the potential stumbling blocks remaining for Donald Trump. Current polls show him in the lead, but it is also a state that he needs to win or he risks being over reliant on unbound Republican delegates.
So why is it important for Donald Trump to win Indiana? Indiana awards a portion of their delegates in a winner-take-all system for the statewide vote, then awards the remaining delegates by congressional district winner. The change in the Cruz and Kasich campaigns have the potential to radically alter the outcome of Indiana.
Donald Trump currently leads with a plurality of the votes in Indiana. The implied assumption that the Cruz and Kasich campaigns are following is that they are dividing the anti-Trump vote between themselves. If that assumption is correct – and there is a large enough anti-Trump contingent – then ultimately they are only helping Donald Trump maintain the lead. By Kasich not competing, it is further assumed that his voters will migrate to Cruz to give Cruz the lead.
This test of where Kasich’s voters will migrate makes Indiana all the more interesting. If the conventional wisdom is true that Cruz and Kasich represent the anti-Trump vote, then Cruz should win easily. If, on the other hand, Kasich’s supporters weren’t anti-Trump, or they are equally anti-Cruz as well as anti-Trump, then it should become obvious between now and May 3rd when Indiana holds its primary.
It is a good strategy by the Cruz and Kasich campaigns since it seems to be the only strategy that has a chance of helping either of them. On the flip side, it has yet to be determined how badly this will hurt Donald Trump, or whether it will hurt him at all.