The path to defeating Donald Trump in the GOP primary is narrowing daily, and one candidate may be doing far-more harm than good in helping his own chances of being the Republican Nominee in 2016.
John Kasich’s best case scenario is a situation where a contested/brokered convention occurs and the RNC Rules Committee suspends the Rule 40(b) requirement that a candidate must win eight states to be considered for the nomination. Therefore, the only path Kasich has to face Hillary Clinton in the fall is for Trump to fall short of the 1237 marker. Yet, his very presence in the race splits Ted Cruz’s vote and helps bring about the occurrence of Trump victories in crucial winner-take-all states (like Wisconsin and California) as well as Congressional District-based proportional states (like NY).
His very presence in the race undercuts his best-case scenario for his nomination. Even if Cruz were able to win WI and CA and deprive Trump from 1237, Kasich would pick up no more than 150 delegates at most going into Cleveland. The difference between 150 delegates and 300 delegates is quite marginal in comparison to the enormous sums that are bound to Trump and Cruz.
Furthermore, those margins are far-easier to make up in convention the more evenly they are split between the two leading candidates. (It’s better for Kasich to have a split-decision between Cruz and Trump with Kasich farther behind in the delegate count, than have Kasich a smidgeon closer but Trump essentially at the 1237 count.)
So, in thinking this entire process through, it makes absolutely no sense that Kasich continues campaigning for president. A far-better strategy would be to suspend active campaigning and get to know all the future delegates going into convention personally in order to court their second, third and fourth ballot votes and consolidate a non-Cruz/Trump consensus for the general.
To not do this is to play spoiler for Cruz and essentially hand the nomination to Trump, thereby defeating any chance of the nomination in Cleveland.
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Adam Kwasman is a former Arizona Legislator. He received his masters in economics from George Mason University, specializing in Public Choice and Austrian Economic Theory and is currently a student at Arizona State University's School of Law. He resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.