I …. I have no idea if candidates are allowed to do this.
The New York Times reports that John Kasich and Ted Cruz reached an agreement to halt campaign operations in certain states to each give the other a better chance to win delegates and stop Donald Trump from being the Republican nomination for president.
Campaign collusion! It’s here.
In a statement late Sunday night, Mr. Cruz’s campaign manager, Jeff Roe, said that the campaign would “focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Governor Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico.”
Minutes after Mr. Roe’s statement, the Kasich campaign put out a similar message. The Ohio governor’s chief strategist, John Weaver, said that his campaign would shift its resources to states in the West and “give the Cruz campaign a clear path in Indiana.”
Since Cruz is within striking distance of Trump in Indiana, the idea is that if Kasich, who is polling well there, pulls out, Cruz should be able to top Trump.
Indiana has 57 delegates, 30 of which are rewarded automatically to the winner. If Cruz can win Indiana, his campaign believes he may be able to eke out the next big prize, California.
The two agreed to coordinate efforts because they both think this is their last chance to stop Trump.
They fear that if he wins Indiana after his run of recent success, the appetite and financing to block him in the remaining states will dissipate. Indiana is also one of the few remaining states before California votes on June 7 where there is much indecision. The intervening states either clearly favor Mr. Trump or Mr. Cruz, or they will scatter their delegates through some proportional approach.
California is a winner-take-all primary where 127 delegates are at stake. Both candidates hope this strategy will be enough to stop Trump from amassing the 1,237 delegates required to win the nomination.
For Mr. Kasich, who still trails Mr. Rubio in delegates, the agreement allows them a better chance at winning a handful more delegates going into the convention in proportional states where Mr. Cruz will now not be much of a factor.
Ceding these delegates to Mr. Kasich is of little concern to Mr. Cruz now because the senator can no longer clinch the nomination before Cleveland. He is focused entirely on stopping Mr. Trump from reaching 1,237 delegates by the end of voting in June, so whether he or Mr. Kasich were the ones sharing the delegates with the front-runner in New Mexico and Oregon mattered little.
Trump, of course, was displeased to hear about these efforts.
He’s not wrong.