‘Indiana or Bust’ for Ted Cruz

After getting schlonged in five more states for Super Tuesday 4, Ted Cruz needed to change the narrative, and he did. He announced that former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina would be his vice-presidential running mate, should he secure the Republican nomination.

by John English
by John English

It may have been an unorthodox choice, and a uniquely early announcement, but this election campaign has been all about making the headlines. Donald Trump has played the media like a fiddle, so Cruz decided to try his hand at that game. Although it may have been too late.

What’s most memorable about the actual event wasn’t Fiorina’s speech, it was Cruz’s 30-minute introduction. On one hand, it’s his way of getting the media to cover one of his speeches live. On the other hand, it showed why a large part of the Republican electorate hasn’t been willing to rally around him. He still speaks like a televangelist giving his favorite sermon. He has high volume for the first half of his sentence, then he pauses, then he intensely whispers the second half of the sentence. Then he waits for applause. Over and over again.

When Fiorina was finally able to speak, she by comparison was refreshing, candid, and she even sang a little. She went after Trump hard and kept emphasizing how Trump & Clinton are two sides of the same coin.

Indiana is the lone state voting in the Republican primary process. It’s 57 delegates and winner take all. The RCP polls, all taken before Super Tuesday 4, show that Trump has the edge, and while Cruz might get a blip of a bounce from announcing Fiorina, Trump should get his own from his recent victories and getting himself in Indiana headlines by getting endorsed by Bobby Knight.

IndianaRCP

If Donald Trump gets Indiana’s delegates, that puts him over 1000. May’s elections are more spread out, with only 1-2 states per week. But if he has over 1000 with a month to go, it’s hard to see how he does not hit 1237. He mostly likely wins the 51 delegates from New Jersey’s WTA primary. California’s 172 delegates are handed out proportionally, so even if Cruz wins, Trump still gets at least 50 from there. There are 124 delegates unpledged right now, and there’s no reason to believe that all of them are with #NeverTrump.

Indiana may be do-or-die for Cruz and for #NeverTrump, but Trump could lose Indiana and be okay. Sure, he currently only has 39.7% of the votes cast, but 48.5% of the distributed delegates. To put Trump’s votes into historical context:

2016 so far
Trump — 10,124,474 (39.7%)
Not Trump — 15,410,551

2012
Romney — 9,947,433 (52.1%)
Not Romney — 8,735,387

2008
McCain — 9,902,797 (46.7%)
Not McCain — 11,436,237

2000
Bush — 12,034,676 (62%)
Not Bush — 7,295,678

So yes, Trump is on course to get more votes in the Republican primary than any previous candidate, but this year has already set the record for most votes ever cast in a Republican primary and most votes ever for someone besides the front-runner.

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