Cruz-Kasich Pact to Stop Trump Underwhelms

John Kasich
Republican governor John Kasich of Ohio speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, March 4 (Gage Skidmore)

Ted Cruz and John Kasich, Donald Trump’s two remaining rivals for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, announced a deal on Sunday to try to stop the New York businessman.

But their pact may be too little, too late and is anyway less impressive than it sounds.

Cruz’ campaign manager, Jeff Roe, said in a statement that the Texas senator will concentrate his efforts in Indiana, which holds a primary next week, while Kasich would take Oregon and New Mexico, which vote later in May and in early June.

“We would hope that allies of both campaigns would follow our lead,” Roe said.

But neither candidate is actually calling on its voters to support the other, nor are they dividing up more than three states. Read more “Cruz-Kasich Pact to Stop Trump Underwhelms”

New York Looms After Cruz Victory in Wisconsin

Republican senator Ted Cruz of Texas speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 26, 2015
Republican senator Ted Cruz of Texas speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 26, 2015 (Gage Skidmore)

Ted Cruz may have succeeded in denying his rival for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, Donald Trump, a clear path to victory on Tuesday when he won the primary election in Wisconsin. But the nominating contest now moves to territory that looks more favorable to Trump, including his home state of New York.

Cruz got 48 percent support from Republican voters in Wisconsin against 35 percent for Trump. His victory in the delegate count, however, was overwhelming: the Texan got 36 out of 42 delegates, by the Association Press’ count, helped by rules that give more delegates to the winner in each congressional district.

It may seem small beer compared to the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination. But Trump now needs to win 58 percent of the remaining delegates to get to a majority, according to NBC News, up from 56 percent before the Wisconsin primary.

But if Trump wins all of New York’s 95 delegates in two weeks, that 58 percent goes down to a more manageable 53 percent. And Trump is currently polling above the 50 percent support needed to trigger the New York primary’s winner-takes-all bonus.

Some of the industrial states that vote in May, including Indiana and West Virginia, may also be more friendly to Trump, whose nationalism appeals to white working-class voters, than Cruz, a staunch social conservative who is more popular on the Christian right. Read more “New York Looms After Cruz Victory in Wisconsin”

Cruz Collaborates with Trump to Keep Kasich Off

Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz take part in a debate televised by ABC News from Goffstown, New Hampshire, February 6
Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz take part in a debate televised by ABC News from Goffstown, New Hampshire, February 6 (ABC/Ida Mae Astute)

NBC News reports that the campaigns of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are collaborating to deny the nomination to the Republican Party’s third presidential contender, John Kasich.

“I expect the rules committee to require a level of support that would leave only two candidates on the ballot at the convention,” a senior Cruz campaign aide told the news network.

The 112-member committee will literally write the rules for the party’s nominating convention in Cleveland, Ohio this summer.

“The Cruz people and Trump people are fighting hard to make sure their hardcore delegates get on the committee,” said Barry Bennett, a Trump advisor. Read more “Cruz Collaborates with Trump to Keep Kasich Off”

Ted Cruz, In Case You Had Forgotten, Is Scary Too

Republican senator Ted Cruz of Texas campaigns in Manchester, New Hampshire, January 21
Republican senator Ted Cruz of Texas campaigns in Manchester, New Hampshire, January 21 (Gage Skidmore)

Ted Cruz’ call to patrol “Muslim neighborhoods” in the United States following Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in Brussels is the latest in a long line of outrageous proposals that should disqualify the Texan from high office.

With Donald Trump leading in the Republican Party’s presidential contest, some are willing to overlook the fact that Cruz, who is in second place, is a hardliner.

Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and a relative moderate in the party, threw his support behind Cruz on Wednesday. So did the pro-business Club for Growth, a powerful conservative lobbying group.

Cruz may be preferable to Trump, but that is only because the latter is a personally insecure crypto-fascist who has no discernible principles nor demonstrated even the slightest grasp of policy. Cruz would still be the most right-wing presidential candidate in living memory and almost certainly lose the general election in November against the Democrats’ Hillary Clinton. Read more “Ted Cruz, In Case You Had Forgotten, Is Scary Too”

To Stop Trump, Rivals Must Coordinate

Republican governor John Kasich of Ohio speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, March 4
Republican governor John Kasich of Ohio speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, March 4 (Gage Skidmore)

Bloomberg View columnist Jonathan Bernstein is growing a little exasperated about John Kasich’s presidential campaign and rightly so.

Not only has the Ohio governor refused to drop out of the Republican contest despite not winning a single state until Tuesday (his own); Bernstein writes that he is now campaigning in Utah, a state Ted Cruz could win and perhaps must win if the two are to deny Donald Trump a majority of the delegates.

That is the declared rationale of Kasich’s candidacy: stop the New York businessman winning a majority of the delegates and block him at the convention, to be held in Ohio in July.

If that is indeed what Kasich is trying to do, he should take another hard look at his strategy. Read more “To Stop Trump, Rivals Must Coordinate”

Don’t Count on Cruz to Help Stop Trump

Republican senator Ted Cruz of Texas campaigns in Manchester, New Hampshire, January 21
Republican senator Ted Cruz of Texas campaigns in Manchester, New Hampshire, January 21 (Gage Skidmore)

The Republican plan to stop Donald Trump has one big problem. Its name is Ted Cruz.

Politico reports that there is a frantic last-minute effort underway to prevent the former from claiming the party’s presidential nomination at the convention in Cleveland, Ohio this summer. Both the Republican “establishment” and movement conservatives, normally at odds, are appalled at the prospect of the property tycoon winning the nomination. Trump appears to have no firm beliefs and would almost certainly lose the general election in November against the Democrats’ Hillary Clinton.

But he is leading in the delegate count and it is probably too late now for another candidate to overtake him. The plan is to deny Trump a majority of the delegates and then nominate somebody else at the convention.

Cruz, who is in second place, is resisting. Read more “Don’t Count on Cruz to Help Stop Trump”

Cruz Beats Trump But Next Steps Unclear

Republican senator Ted Cruz of Texas gives a speech in Henderson, Nevada, February 21
Republican senator Ted Cruz of Texas gives a speech in Henderson, Nevada, February 21 (Gage Skidmore)

Texas senator Ted Cruz all but defeated the frontrunner for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, Donald Trump, in a series of nominating contests on Saturday.

Although Trump won a plurality of the votes in Kentucky and Louisiana, he only secured 49 delegates in total against 64 for Cruz. The Texan won the smaller contests in Kansas and Maine and benefited from proportionate delegate allocation rules in the bigger states.

Trump still leads with 378 out of the 1,237 delegates needed to claim the nomination in Cleveland this summer. But Cruz is not far behind. He has 295 delegates pledged to him. Read more “Cruz Beats Trump But Next Steps Unclear”

Post-Super Tuesday Delegate Math Does Not Favor Cruz

Republican senator Ted Cruz of Texas speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 26, 2015
Republican senator Ted Cruz of Texas speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 26, 2015 (Gage Skidmore)

After winning three state contests and 213 delegates on “Super Tuesday” earlier this week, Texas senator Ted Cruz is claiming he is now the best candidate to stop businessman Donald Trump from seizing the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.

Except the states that vote next don’t look favorable to Cruz.

Among the ones that vote later this month are Florida, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio — not the sort of places where Cruz’ uncompromising conservatism plays very well.

It gets even worse for him. Under Republican Party rules, some of these states, which will almost certainly vote for the Democratic candidate in November, send proportionately more delegates to the convention than deep-red states in the South.

As long as Cruz splits the anti-Trump vote with Ohio governor John Kasich and Florida senator Marco Rubio, both of whom will be hoping to win their home states, racking up delegates is what matters. Assuming Trump, who is despised by many in the Republican Party and even most in the broader conservative movement, fails to win a majority of the delegates beforehand, the convention will be contested — and could nominate anyone. Read more “Post-Super Tuesday Delegate Math Does Not Favor Cruz”

South Carolina Reduces Republican Contest to Three

Republican senator Marco Rubio of Florida speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 26, 2015
Republican senator Marco Rubio of Florida speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 26, 2015 (Gage Skidmore)

For Republicans, South Carolina only partially lived up to its reputation on Saturday.

Party elites were counting on the first Southern state in the presidential primaries to act as a “firewall” against insurgent candidates like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.

The New York businessman, who many in the party see as wholly unelectable, still won with nearly a third of the votes.

But Marco Rubio, a first-term senator, split second place with Cruz at 22 percent support.

Jeb Bush, the other establishment favorite, dropped out of the nominating contest after getting only 8 percent support. Read more “South Carolina Reduces Republican Contest to Three”