Everyone working together to stop Trump?
Officials from Marco Rubio’s campaign are encouraging Ohio-based supporters to vote for John Kasich in the upcoming primary. Why? Strategic voting — as it’s termed. Rubio is unlikely to cary Ohio, but encouraging supporters to toss their votes behind Kasich might help keep Ohio out of Trump’s win column.
— John Berman (@JohnBerman) March 11, 2016
Kasich, however, is not interested in a Rubio bump:
Kasich spox Rob Nichols on Rubio news: "We were going to win in OH without his help, just as he's going to lose in FL w/o ours"
— Kathleen Ronayne (@kronayne) March 11, 2016
From the "no good deed goes unpunished" files https://t.co/SBymxm4VHY
— Legal Insurrection (@LegInsurrection) March 11, 2016
But is it tough talk, strategy, both? Likely both.
Cruz’s campaign claimed they were opening ten field offices in Florida to take out Rubio, but that was nothing more than psychological warfare, apparently. It would appear the “everyone stop Trump” train has more cars than Cruz.
How it goes down: Cruz backs off in Florida, ceding it to Rubio, Rubio backs off Kasich, giving him his home state, and Trump is deprived a large stash of delegates.
Erick Erickson detailed what looks to be a broad deal:
Cruz’s campaign, after a lot of bluster about going all in in Florida admits it was all a head fake. They had one event scheduled for today with Sean Hannity in Orlando that was previously scheduled and will be nationally focused, not Florida focused. Then Cruz is bailing on Florida. For the Rubio folks complaining, I’m told the campaign did try to make adjustments, but couldn’t for reasons not in the campaign’s control.
Cruz’s campaign takes down its Florida ads. The Cruz Super PACs follow suit allegedly — at least some of them have signaled they too are getting out.
Marco Rubio revs up his Florida presence and is nowhere to be found in Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina.
The Cruz campaign redirects all its resources to those three states, with Cruz rallies, ad buys, GOTV etc.
Now Rubio’s spokesman goes on national television and says Rubio supporters should vote for John Kasich in Ohio.
Kasich is going all in in Ohio and ceding Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina to Cruz. In fact, Kasich suddenly has no events in Illinois, and only one event in Pennsylvania after the Ohio primary.
In other words, Kasich is now only campaigning in Ohio; Rubio is only campaigning in Florida; and Cruz is avoiding events in Florida and Ohio.
Increasingly, it looks like the remaining candidates are willing to go to the convention without a nominee. Which is fine by me. Bring on the battle royal.
Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye