So Mitt Romney’s strategy for stopping Trump by urging Republicans to vote for the candidate best positioned to beat him in any one state is being implemented, at least in the states that vote on March 15. One piece of the puzzle fell loudly into place Friday when Marco Rubio’s spokesperson went on national TV to tell his candidate’s supporters in Ohio to vote for John Kasich.
According to conservative gabber Erick Erickson, though, the “deal” is far broader than that:
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….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.
As Erickson alludes to, there’s some awkwardness surrounding super-pacs, which are not supposed to be in touch with the campaigns, much less taking hand signals from them to abruptly change course. But by Tuesday you’d have to figure most voters who care about what candidates want them to do have gotten the idea. If Trump sweeps all five states, it won’t be because the opposition didn’t give it their best shot.
If, on the other hand, the strategy works and Trump loses one or both of the two winner-take-all states (Ohio and Florida) and maybe one or two of the others, all bets are off, and we’ll have to see which of the candidacies survive and which decide to pack it in.