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Kasich And Cruz’s Coordination May Be Too Late To Stop Trump

Republican presidential candidates John Kasich and Ted Cruz announced Sunday night that their campaigns would coordinate three future presidential primary efforts to keep party frontrunner Donald Trump from securing the Republican nomination. But their agreement doesn’t do nearly as much as a stronger, earlier attempt at stopping the frontrunner would have.

For starters, the coordination agreement, or at least what’s been discussed publicly so far, only covers three states: Indiana, New Mexico, and Oregon.

Indiana, as a winner-take-all state at the district level and overall, is a must-win for the #NeverTrump camp. Polling from the state shows Trump with 39 percent of the vote, putting him ahead of Cruz by six points and ahead of Kasich by 20.

Despite his campaign’s statement, though, it appears Kasich still wants Indiana voters to support him. “I’ve never told them not to vote for me,” he said at a diner in Philadelphia. “They ought to vote for me.”

He boiled the agreement down to a cost-saving effort: “I’m not out there campaigning and spending resources,” he said. “I’m not going to spend resources in Indiana. [Cruz is] not going to spend resources in other places.”

The New York Times reported that Kasich’s super PAC was honoring the agreement and chose not to run ads for him in Indiana, though “New Day for America” PAC may have just seen the writing on the wall: FiveThirtyEight has consistently put Kasich’s odds at winning the state below one percent.

Polling is harder to come across for the two states ceded to Kasich. The Oregon primary isn’t until May 17 and New Mexico’s isn’t until June 7 (perhaps Kasich insisted on later dates to substantiate his claim that he would be staying in the race until the convention), but each awards delegates proportionally, softening the blow for Cruz.

Trump only needs 393 more delegates to win the nomination outright before the Republican National Convention this summer in Cleveland. According to an analysis by The Hill, if Trump wins at least 115 of the delegates up for grabs today, he will only need to win 22 of Indiana’s 57 delegates, 13 of Oregon’s 28 delegates and nine of New Mexico’s 24 delegates, less than half in each state, to remain on track for the nomination.

While the coordination between the Kasich and Cruz campaigns was a boon to anti-Trump Republicans, the newfound spirit of cooperation between the two may be too little, too late.

Photo: Republican presidential candidate John Kasich addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) afternoon general session in Washington March 21, 2016.      REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Endorse This: Elite New York GOPers Ignore Ted Cruz

The New York State Republican Party held a fancy gala last night (featuring chocolate elephants) and three presidential contenders showed up to make their case to the Big Apple’s big timers. With Tuesday’s primary rapidly approaching, it was an opportunity for John Kasich and Ted Cruz to try to make up ground with a state establishment that, for the most part, is loyal to Donald Trump.

Reporters at the event, however, were more amused that the crowd shunned Ted Cruz:

As NBC News embed Vaughn Hillyard showed, the crowd just didn’t care about Ted Cruz; he doesn’t embody “New York values” nearly as much as Donald Trump, who spent his speech detailing his list of deals in the city to a far more attentive audience.

Screengrab via Rosie Gray/Twitter

Watch: Trump Revs Up The Crowds Against Protesters

As the scrutiny mounts over violence breaking out against protesters at Donald Trump’s rallies, The Donald is reacting by… egging on the crowds.

Check out this video below, compiled by Reuters, of Trump’s reactions from the stage at his rally Friday in St. Louis.

Some highlights:

  • “These are not the people that made our country great — but we’re gonna make it great again. But these are not the people.”
  • “I mean, isn’t this better than listening to a long, boring speech? All right? You can hear that from the other candidates. They don’t say anything, anyway.”
  • “You know, part of the problem, and part of the reason it takes so long, is nobody wants to hurt each other anymore. Right?”
  • “These people are bringing us down. Remember that — they’re bringing us down. There’s no reason for it.”
  • “These people are so bad for our country, you have no idea, folks. You have no idea.”
  • “Get ’em out. Get ’em out. What, it’s the same guy trying to come back? Right, see that? In the old days, didn’t come back, I can tell you that. They were gone. They were taken out, they were gone.
  • “All right, thank you. Oh, it would be so nice — it would be so nice. I won’t say what’s on my mind, folks. It would so nice. I won’t say it. I refuse to say it. I’m a nice person — I refuse to say it.

Trump Ad In Ohio: John Kasich Is A Loser!

Donald Trump’s new campaign ad in Ohio makes the ultimate accusation against Gov. John Kasich.

“After John Kasich helped Wall Street predator Lehman Brothers destroy the world economy, he decided to run for governor of Ohio,” the announcer says. “John Kasich has been an absentee governor, spending most of his time everywhere but Ohio…”

And then, the knife goes in: “…especially Michigan, the latest disaster in his failing presidential bid.” Calling Kasich a loser in Michigan, where he came in third place behind the winner Trump and second-place candidate Ted Cruz despite his heavily targeting of the state with a regional Rust Belt appeal, seems to be purposeful slam.

This ad also pointedly undermines the GOP’s new national strategy of going after Trump with specific candidates in targeted states, as the race enters the phase of winner-take-all primary states, in order to trigger the complex processes of a brokered convention in which no candidate has a majority.

Trump’s message to the voters: Kasich is a loser, so why would you want to vote for him? Get with the winner.

The ad closes: “Kasich gave Ohio Obamacare, and increased our budget more than any other governor in the U.S. We don’t need him in Ohio — and we certainly don’t need him in Washington. John Kasich — just another all-talk, no-action politician.”