Indiana's primary was certainly a big night for the Republican presidential race. Republican frontrunner Donald Trump won within ten minutes, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz dropped out, and John Kasich is surprisingly still running. And now that the Republicans have narrowed their race down to just two candidates, can John Kasich take Ted Cruz's delegates? Not just yet.
Update: On Wednesday, Kasich dropped out of the presidential race.
Earlier: Cruz left 565 delegates behind with his campaign, and Kasich currently only holds 153 total, compared to Trump's 1,047. And he could have a shot at taking Cruz's delegates eventually, but not until the Republican convention in July. The same is true of Trump, who also won't directly get anyone's delegates until the convention. Even Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who dropped out in March, still has all 173 of his delegates — which is still more than Kasich. Republican delegates are bound to the candidates who win them during the primaries, and will have the choice to support another candidate of their choosing if the race ends with an contested convention.
Nonetheless, it doesn't seem likely that the Republican candidates will get even that far, as Trump is just 190 delegates away from securing the nomination, and there are plenty of opportunities in the nine remaining contests to reach that number. Kasich is reportedly planning to remain in the race until Trump reaches the delegate count he needs for a nomination.
According to Kasich's chief strategist, John Weaver, the campaign was still hopeful about taking the Republican nominating process all the way to the convention — at least, ahead of Indiana's primary. In a memo, Weaver wrote, "Tonight's results are not going to alter Gov. Kasich's campaign plans. Our strategy has been and continues to be one that involves winning the nomination at an open convention."
One thing is for sure: I never thought the Republican primaries would end with a Trump vs. Kasich match. And if Trump has been coming after "Lyin' Ted Cruz" pretty hard in the last few weeks, we'll just have to see how he comes after Kasich moving forward.
The convention is certainly the last inkling of hope for anyone in the Republican establishment who wants to stop "Trump" from following the word "President." It's also the only chance that John Kasich has of winning anyone's leftover delegates, whether they're coming from Rubio or Cruz. And Trump thought these elections were rigged against him ...