Kasich's Indiana Team is Not Very Smart

Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich answers a question during a town hall style meeting in Salem, N.H., Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Let’s say you really, really want John Kasich to be President. That’s fine – I disagree, but I get the appeal for some people, and I also get how Cruz might turn some social moderates off. So if you think John Kasich is the best option left, I actually honor the sentiment.

However, if you live in the real world, where math exists and the rules for the GOP convention have been set, you have a problem. Your guy cannot mathematically reach 1,237 delegates at the convention on the first vote. It absolutely cannot happen. In fact, he can’t get close. His one and only shot is to win at a contested convention. No one who is the slightest bit in touch with reality denies this.

Point two of living in the real world is that if Donald Trump gets to 1,237 delegates on the first ballot, there will not be a contested convention. This is also fact. Once that 1,237th ballot has been cast, this thing is over and John Kasich has no shot. So his one and only shot is to keep Trump from getting to 1,237.

Point three: The number of delegates John Kasich brings to the convention is completely irrelevant. Whatever number it is, it will be less than either Trump or Cruz has. This is guaranteed mathematically. Not only is Kasich mathematically eliminated from getting 1,237, he is as of last night also mathematically eliminated from catching Cruz for second place. So his one and only shot is his powers of persuasion at the convention. Full stop.

Point four: If Trump wins Indiana, this thing is all but over. Trump knows it. Cruz knows it. Hell, Kasich himself knows it, which is why he pulled out of Indiana.

Point five: The only person who is capable of beating Trump in Indiana is Ted Cruz. This, also, is not something about which reasonable people disagree.

If you add all this up, and you are a person who believes that John Kasich should be President, and you live in Indiana, you should be telling everyone you know to vote for Ted Cruz. Whether your guy finishes at 5% or 15% is completely irrelevant. Trump must be stopped from getting Indiana’s 57 delegates. The end. Your pointless bulls**t symbolic vote for John Kasich is going to get Donald Trump the nomination and completely foreclose Kasich’s chances. The end.

By voting for and supporting John Kasich in Indiana, you are actually hurting Kasich’s chances. This isn’t true in every state. Kasich’s supporters in Washington or Oregon or wherever should go ahead and vote for Kasich. No biggie. But in both California and Indiana, it is absolutely necessary that every single possible vote go to Ted Cruz, or Trump will win on the first ballot.

According to Politico, John Kasich’s team in Indiana is not smart enough to realize these basic facts:

John Kasich may have agreed to cede Indiana to Ted Cruz as part of a coordinated strategy to stop Donald Trump, but Kasich’s top backers in the state say they’re frustrated and confused by the tactical maneuvering – and they have no plans to play along.
“I put my name on the line for someone, and then the rug kind of got pulled,” said State Sen. Jim Merritt, who after serving on Kasich’s Indiana leadership team will now not publicly support anyone. “My name’s on a headline with another candidate, and then all of a sudden there’s some agreement that has not really been explained to me…it tends to disappoint.”

Interviews with the Ohio governor’s top Indiana allies reveal that many are deeply reluctant to support the Texas senator, who is campaigning aggressively in the state, which offers perhaps his last chance to slow Trump’s momentum and force a contested convention. Kasich’s team on Sunday indicated that the Ohio governor would be effectively pulling out of the state, while Cruz would steer clear of New Mexico and Oregon, in an effort to keep Trump from clinching the 1,237 delegates needed for the nomination.
Though several Kasich backers said they understood the strategic value of boosting Cruz in Indiana, they still intend to vote for Kasich and won’t actively encourage Kasich backers to vote for the Texas senator, whose hardline style and vocal social conservatism are hard for many moderates to swallow.

If you can’t understand the deal that Cruz and Kasich cut, and the reasons for it, then you aren’t very bright. In fact, you’re the reason that the GOP is often justly called the “stupid party.” You’re the reason that year after year, the conservative vote stays split up way too late to stop the crappy GOP front runner because people cling to dreams that are never going to happen.

Kasich can still have his chance at the convention but only under one condition, that being that his supporters in Indiana and California grow up and act strategically.

What’s bizarre is that if you’re still supporting Kasich at this point, you have to fancy yourself as a pragmatist, and you’re probably someone who looks down their nose a bit at those hard line Cruz supporters. And yet here you are, being unreasonable and clueless compared to Cruz himself, who is ceding two states he might possibly actually win to your guy, just to keep hope alive for the contested convention that Kasich desperately needs.

Any Kasich supporter in Indiana who actually casts a ballot for Kasich next Tuesday should not delude themselves into thinking that they are any smarter or less irrational than the most “irrational” Cruz supporter that they know – because in fact they’re worse.