How The Ted Cruz & John Kasich Alliance Will (Or Won't) Change The Acela Tuesday Results
In the ever-evolving world of the 2016 presidential race, GOP candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich have formed an alliance in order to defeat the Big Bad Donald Trump. With Kasich as his plucky sidekick (a title bestowed upon the Ohio governor thanks to his mere 148 delegates), Ted Cruz is attempting to catapult himself to the GOP nomination with the added blessing of the Republican establishment (what other choice do they have?) The duo, as it seems, is already destined for failure in the long term. But could this Cruz-Kasich pairing affect Tuesday's primary, if nothing else?
In short, the likelihood is slim. The grounds on which the two GOP contenders established their alliance is shaky at best — one will concede to the other in states that favor a particular candidate, but still seem to be campaigning separately in states where they both have a shot. Kasich will stand down to Cruz in Indiana, and Cruz will do the same for Kasich in Oregon and New Mexico, done to give one another the best chance at pulling in more votes than Trump. But the partnership, it seems, stops there. There has been no mention of other states (particularly, any of those voting in Tuesday's primary), and Kasich even appears lukewarm to the idea despite Cruz's initial enthusiasm.
But even if their alliance doesn't carry into the states voting on Tuesday, could the sheer concept of them running together influence voters? Do voters see the individual candidates stronger as a ticket? If they are part of the #NeverTrump camp, they might. Assuming that a majority of voters who back Cruz or Kasich fall in line with the idea that they will vote for anyone but Trump, joining forces could ultimately help the pair (though Cruz, of course, would be benefiting the most from this union).
But if this consensus among voters is to be reached, Kasich will have to commit to the partnership more fully. As it stands, he has already given Indiana voters doubt by saying, "I never told people not to vote for me, they ought to vote for me." Said just hours after announcing the alliance, this does little to help out the pair moving into Tuesday's primary, and Indiana's next week. This failure to commit, both logistically and through rhetoric, could certainly weaken voters from maintaining that #NeverTrump ideology.
Cruz and Kasich therefore have a lot of work to do if they plan on being able to court voters with their plan. Kasich has to be willing to expect the role of sidekick, and Cruz has to utilize what little momentum the Ohio governor has for his own advantage.