In the race to become the next POTUS, the GOP field lost one candidate, the Democratic delegate gap got bigger and, as of this morning, one state was still too close to call for both parties.
So how do last night’s results change the game, and what does it mean for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz? Scott Bixby, national reporter for the Guardian U.S., says Cruz is characterizing the race as a “one-on-one match-up,” sending a press release as soon as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio conceded that said Cruz is the one candidate who can unify conservatives.
“With all the delegates that Rubio has accumulated over the previous primary contests now being released,” Bixby says, “the people who were originally going to bind themselves to Rubio are now free for Ted Cruz to pick up.”
Kasich won his home state of Ohio, but Bixby says there’s no way for him to win the delegation through just picking up delegates during primaries.
“(Kasich’s) endgame now is to push for a contested or open convention in Cleveland this summer,” he says. “At this point (Trump) has to win about 54 percent of the remaining available delegates, which is within the realm of possibility, but it is harder than if he had been able to claim those 99 delegates coming out of Ohio straight out.”
Bixby says Cruz’s only real option is through a contested convention. “The more splintered the field is and the more delegates he can rack up personally to his campaign,” he says, “the better the chance he has of at least blocking Donald Trump from winning an outright majority before the deadline on June 7.”
The plan for Cruz, Bixby says, to work toward a contested convention and offer himself as having a real chance of beating Hillary Clinton.
Bixby says after last night, Clinton’s lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders delegate count is double what then-Sen. Barack Obama’s was in 2008 when Clinton dropped out of the race.
“This might bring the Sanders’ camp back to fundamentals,” he says. “I think it caught them by surprise the fact that his candidacy caught fire with so many young people… This is going to push them back to the original reason they joined the campaign, which is to help shape the message of the Democratic nominee.”