Ted Cruz Should Bargain Kasich Out of the Winner-Take-All Primaries

Ted Cruz Should Bargain Kasich Out of the Winner-Take-All Primaries

Donald Trump has a clear and easy path to the nomination through the winner-take-all (WTA) primaries, even after the Indiana primary on May 3. Just like Cruz claimed to have bargained Gov. Kasich out of campaigning in Indiana, which is a WTA state, he needs to do that in California and New Jersey, in order to have an open convention.

To start with, Trump is 40 delegates closer, now that election website thegreenpapers.com has awarded this many of Pennsylvania’s uncommitted 54 delegates to him in the uncommitted column. 4 also went to Cruz and 4 to Kasich, leaving only 6 truly uncommitted. Trump also got Pennsylvania’s 17 WTA at large delegates giving him 57 of the states’ 71 delegates. This gives Trump 80% of the states’ delegates, even though he won the state with 56.7%, and Cruz got 21.6%, just edging out Kasich with 19.4%.

Using thegreenpapers.com totals, Trump now has 998, and with 1,237 needed to win, he is only short 239 delegates.

The Indiana primary, where Kasich has agreed not to compete, has 57 delegates.

On June 7, there are four WTA primaries, with 279 delegates: California with 172, Montana with 27, New Jersey with 51 and South Dakota with 29. California and New Jersey, together with 223 WTA delegates, can alone almost fulfill Trumps needed 239.

The total of all WTA delegates left is 336.

Cruz has already recruited Californian Carly Fiorina for Vice President. She won the Republican primary for Senator in California in 2010, and knows the primary landscape there. Getting Kasich out of the race will give him the best shot there.

Gov. Kasich has nothing to lose by not campaigning in the WTA states, since splitting with Cruz will guarantee that Trump will win them and proceed to the nomination. I think that Kasich is really concentrating on passing Sen. Marco Rubio for third place at the convention. Rubio still has 173 delegates, since he has only suspended his campaign. Kasich is behind, but close, with 158 delegates. He needs 16 to go ahead and become third. He can’t get these in WTA states. He will get more in other states if Cruz does not compete there. Kasich’s strategy is to help Cruz bring about an open convention. Then, if the “establishment” doesn’t like Trump or Cruz, they may look to number three, who has stuck out the campaign, and is Governor of the swing state of Ohio, which he won.

Besides the WTA primaries, there are:

May 10; Nebraska with 36 and West Virginia with 34;

May 17; Oregon with 28;

May 24; Washington with 44 as winner-take-most; and

June 7; New Mexico with 24.

The total of these other primaries yields 166 delegates.  The total of the WTA and other primaries is 502.  The 336 delegates in WTA are two thirds of the remaining delegates.

Cruz has 565 delegates, with only 528 soft available, so he cannot win the nomination. His only hope is to stop Trump. Despite today’s flap of Cruz claiming that there was no agreement on Indiana, and Kasich’s aide calling Cruz a liar, they need to work together for their mutual benefit.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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