Less than 24 hours after the Cruz/Kasich alliance was announced, it already appears to be on the verge of failure. Upon hearing of the deal between Cruz and Kasich, GOP voters and strategists alike were left scratching their heads, wondering how this was all supposed to work. To recap, the two men had their campaigns release statements late last night telling voters of a plan they'd put together that would prevent Donald Trump from winning the necessary delegates required to have an outright victory prior to the convention. Cruz was to focus on Indiana, while Kasich was responsible for Oregon and New Mexico.
Immediately GOP strategists were left wondering how this plan was going to sit with voters, dreading that this would be the latest anti-Trump plan to violently backfire. "I think the Kasich people are now left choosing between two people who they see as unappealing. I have talked to a lot of friends today who are stunned and puzzled and kind of adrift: 'what do we do now?'" said Mike Murphy, a GOP operative in the state of Indiana.
The Hill also quoted an anonymous Republican Strategist in Indiana who said people were torn between stopping Trump, and asking themselves what has happened to their party that made this circumstance even possible. "I think it's a bit of an open question as to whether this deal will take. I've got people who say, 'Yes, I will do anything to stop Trump.' And others who say, 'What in the world is the party coming to?' They view Cruz as unsatisfactory as a nominee but Trump as unfathomable."
And then there was outright frustration at the absurdity of it all. "This election is garbage. I voted early and then they cut a deal a week before election day." Dave Ober, a Republican state representative in Indiana tweeted.
Not only were strategists left dumbfounded, but apparently so was Kasich. Before the ink was even dry, as it were, Kasich suggested during a campaign stop in Philadelphia that his voters should still vote for him in Indiana, which was one of the places the so-called plan was calling for him to fall back on so Cruz had a chance to win. At a campaign stop in Philadelphia, Kasich said "I've never told them not to vote for me. They ought to vote for me." which no matter how one looks at it is thoroughly confusing considering this is precisely what the so-called alliance urged against.
Not one to let anything slip by without comment, Trump had this to say about the half thought out and frankly laughable attempt at blocking his nomination:
“So they colluded, and, actually, I was happy because it shows how weak they are; it shows how pathetic they are,” the front-running candidate said at a rally in Rhode Island on Monday.
“If you collude in business, or if you collude in the stock market, they put you in jail. But in politics, because it’s a rigged system, because it’s a corrupt enterprise, in politics you’re allowed to collude,” he added.
As the circus continues into the final states, we're not sure how everything will ultimately play out. However, we are confident that from now until July, there will be more fodder for Trump to tweet about, and certainly more once unheard of tactics deployed by a desperate GOP establishment which will do anything, even if it results in a smoking crater just hours later, to stop Donald Trump while achieving precisely the opposite of what was intended, and boosting support for Trump to even greater highs.