The only way Gov. John Kasich finds himself as the Republican nominee this year is through the convention. Which means his only chance at getting the nomination relies entirely on Trump not getting it first. His only reasonable, logical move is to try to prevent Donald Trump from getting enough delegates before the convention. It is an unavoidable fact that Kasich is totally avoiding.
In fact, he’s actively working to thwart his chance. Because instead of trying to prevent Donald Trump from getting enough delegates to secure the nomination, he is spending his time attacking Ted Cruz. That is not only a waste of effort, it aids Trump. Not in the “oh a vote for so and so is a vote for Hillary” philosophical kind of way. I mean to say in the actual mathematical certainty sense. He is ensuring his doom.
This is some complicated high level math stuff, so I apologize at the density of the message, but here is the primary reason: attacking Ted Cruz doesn’t stop Trump from getting votes or gaining delegates; Convincing people to not vote for Trump does do that.
Complicated, complicated stuff.
How is Kasich dealing with that reality? Here’s an example. This is from a fundraising email he sent out recently:
And here’s another:
Now you might think “well Cruz is making the same error” but that is, of course, wrong. It’s not an error for Cruz, who has a legitimate path forward and actually has enough states won already to be on the ballot (something Kasich hasn’t even come close to doing.) Cruz can, and has, campaigned against both men and come away with wins. Kasich hasn’t and can’t.
This madness showed in Utah, where Kasich risked handing the delegates to Trump by splitting the non-Trump vote in a state the governor was absolutely not going to win. For which madness Kasich told Chris Wallace that he is “not in this race to stop someone.” Which is crazy. Because if he doesn’t stop a certain someone, he’s not in the race at all.
Kasich’s only hope, the hope he is openly relying on, is that Trump arrives at the convention without a majority, without that magic number of 1,237. That’s literally his only hope. Given that this fact is a fact, he’d have to be either crazy, dumb, or up to something to focus on any other thing. But he is. I leave it to you decide which of those three things is why.