As just about everyone knows, the Republican primary has become a two-man race — Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Imagine the embarrassment and political hit that Rubio or Kasich may suffer on Tuesday March 15 if either does not win his own state. Polls have Rubio way behind in Florida and Kasich is not guaranteed to win Ohio either. So far, Marco Rubio has won one state, while John Kasich has won zero.
Many people would avoid the embarrassing situation and drop out. So, what keeps them in? They are team players willing to harm their own political reputations for the benefit of the establishment Republican party (as the party preaches individualism).
Both Florida and Ohio are winner-take-all delegate states — the winner gets all of the delegates. Florida has 99 delegates, Ohio has 66. If Donald Trump “sweeps the board” Tuesday in five states — Florida, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, and Missouri — it will be very much closer to game over. If Kasich or Rubio wins his home state, it is that many fewer delegates available for Donald Trump — and that much easier to “justify” a brokered convention. This is a risky strategy, but the stakes are too high to avoid going for broke now.
However, an alternate strategy exists. As FiveThirtyEight explains:
Among Rubio voters, on average between the two states, about 75 percent said they’d still vote in a Trump-Cruz race, and of those, 80 percent would prefer Cruz to Trump. Kasich voters were somewhat more equivocal; 55 percent said they’d still vote, and of those, two-thirds would go to Cruz over Trump.
Drop-outs of Marco Rubio and John Kasich before the March 15 primary would help Ted Cruz. It is possible the balance could be tipped against Donald Trump. The question of staying in or dropping out is a quite a dilemma for establishment supporters.
Featured picture: Empty stage as Donald Trump rally canceled Friday night due to security concerns.