Supporters of John Kasich have been peddling the fiction that Kasich’s continued quest for the nomination actually contributes to the stop-Trump movement. But, in reality, it is the Kasich campaign — more than any other factor — that is propelling the Trump campaign.
Of the remaining 839 delegates still to be chosen, most come from winner-take-all state and winner-take-most states where, if Trump wins a plurality, he walks away with all the delegates, or almost all. In these contests, Kasich drains votes from Cruz and lowers the threshold Trump must reach to get a plurality.
What of the argument that Kasich’s votes would have gone to Trump and that he is keeping them from Donald? PPP has just published a poll that shows that shows Trump winning nationally by 42 vs. 32 for Cruz and 22 for Kasich. But when the pollsters asked how voters would vote in a two way Trump-Cruz race, Trump’s margin collapsed to 2 points to 48-46. Trump got 6 points of Kasich’s vote while Cruz got 14 points.
This national trend will make itself felt in primary after primary, possibly giving Donald Trump victories in Delaware (16), Pennsylvania (71), Maryland (38), Indiana (57), Nebraska (36), W. Va. (34), NJ (51), NM (24) SD (28).
In California, Kasich’s candidacy would particularly enable Trump. California selects 159 delegates — three each — from its congressional districts. The plurality winner in each district gets all three delegates and nobody else gets any. And California’s 13 at large delegates go to the plurality winner. Kasich could enable a Trump sweep in California.
But even in states where delegate allocation is based on proportional representation, the rules are really a modified winner-take-all system.
In New York, the situation is similar. Eighty-one of New York’s 95 delegates will be selected from NY’s 27 congressional districts, with each district having 3 delegates. If any candidate gets 51% in a district, he gets all the delegates (here, Kasich helps since his voters could deny Trump a majority). But if no candidate has a majority in any given congressional district, the plurality winner gets two of the three delegates. The second place finisher gets one and the third place finisher gets none. So, in each of the state’s districts, the Kasich vote will sap Cruz’ strength and deliver pluralities to Trump.
Approximately the same situation prevails in CT (28), Oregon (28), Washington State (44), and NM (24).
Fortunately, Kasich may be out of the running and not even be able to get votes on the convention floor.
Rule 40B, adopted in 2012, specifies that you need a majority of the delegates in at least eight states or territories to have your name entered in nomination at the convention. Trump and Cruz have more than satisfied that requirement but Kasich has gotten a majority only in Ohio.
So Kasich’s name may not even be entered into nomination.
But, no matter, he will have done Trump’s work by running in all the remaining states.
It’s very simple. If you want Trump to lose, Kasich must pull out. Now.
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