John Kasich, after his second place showing in New Hampshire, declared Michigan a "must win" state. This past Tuesday, he came in third after spending close to a million dollars. He was beaten for second place by Ted Cruz, who spent $1,211.00 in Michigan.
This is becoming a pattern. Had Marco Rubio not been on the ballot on Super Tuesday, Cruz would have more delegates than Donald Trump now. But in Maine and Texas, Rubio held Cruz below 50 percent keeping him from winning all of each state's delegates. In Idaho this past Tuesday, Rubio did it again. In Mississippi, Rubio's poor showing caused Trump to get bonus delegates — extra delegates Trump would not have gotten had Rubio gotten over 20 percent of the vote.
The delegate allocations for the GOP are convoluted, though less convoluted than the Democrats'. A candidate this year requires 1,237 delegates to win the nomination for president in the Republican Party. In 2012, Rick Santorum gave Mitt Romney a run for his money, but suspended his campaign in the first week of April. It still took Romney until May 30, 2012 to get to 1,144 delegates.
As the calendar advances, it appears it will be harder and harder for Trump to get to his magic number of 1,237. First and foremost is the issue of Marco Rubio whose imminent departure from the race is going to benefit Ted Cruz. Certainly it will benefit Kasich, too, but exit polling and public polling show most of Rubio's support will go to Cruz.
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This coming Tuesday we will see races in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio, not to mention the Northern Marianas Islands. Rubio is not expected to win Florida, which is a winner take all race. If his withdrawal comes swiftly and with gusto, we may see voters shift dramatically to Ted Cruz. What we have seen thus far is Trump losing election day votes in almost every state. His wins have come from a wave of early voters, but in states moving forward, early voting has only just started happening.
A Rubio departure, particularly if coupled with a Cruz alliance, should be enough to stop Trump. Republicans should hope so. Despite Trump's statements to the contrary, only two national polls in six months have shown Trump beating Hillary Clinton. The averages of all the polls show Trump has higher negatives than Clinton, is trusted less than Clinton, is disliked more than Clinton, and would have a greater percentage of his own (current) party vote against him than Clinton.
For Trump to win in 2016, the United States would face the nastiest election since 1800 when John Adams referred to Thomas Jefferson as "a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father" and Jefferson returned the favor by calling Adams "a blind, bald, crippled, toothless man who is a hideous hermaphroditic character with neither the force and fitness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman." Of course they used surrogates and pseudonyms at the time. Yes, it is worth remembering that American politics in the 21st century is a relatively tame affair for now.
It appears the Republican Party is waking up from its stupor and realizes that if Trump is its nominee it will see the party destroyed. Even those who hate Ted Cruz are starting to rally to him. Hopefully, there is still time to stop Trump.
Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.