FYI: Today the very same rumor from two different (and trusted) sources suggest Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign is currently engaged in ongoing discussions regarding the subject of suspending the campaign as early as this week should the Texas senator lose tomorrow’s Indiana primary.
Apparently Team Cruz is receiving a growing chorus of calls for his withdrawal from top Republican officials as well as donors now in the process of terminating their support of the Cruz campaign.
**UPDATE** A message to a known Cruz campaign state operative was given the following reply to the above rumor:
Readers will have to decide for themselves to take that as a confirmation or not.
It is important to note that the Cruz Campaign responded with “No Comment” instead of a denial.
Ted Cruz has made a series of mistakes driven by desperation as he sees his campaign and his hopes to win the GOP nomination going down the drain. Cruz has not won a primary since April 5 and has only picked up 6 delegates since then. (Which is 6 more than Kasich has won.) And during that time period Trump has gained 246 Delegates. In fact, Trump has won 7 of the last 10 contests and amassed 304 delegates to just 92 for Cruz and 9 for Kasich.
All of this put Trump on a roll and Cruz and Kasich decided to team up when the race reached the point where neither could win on the first ballot, and try to block Trump. Poll after poll has shown this was seen as a very unpopular insider move by the GOP Establishment. Cruz had been running as an outsider, but started playing the establishment game. And at the same time, Cruz began “stealing” delegates at conventions hoping for a contested convention and a second or third ballot. And while this is not against the rules, voters see it as more back room establishment trickery and Trump has capitalized on the “rigged system” mantra. And again, voters see Cruz as just another establishment politician.
And Carly Fiorina is one of the least liked personalities in the initial group of 17 and she washed out early. When she ran against Barbara Boxer, her record at HP alone made Boxer look like a saint. Watch this devastating ad Boxer used to derail Fiorina. And ask yourself “what was Cruz thinking,”?
Fiorina is a huge mistake. An unforced error on the part of Cruz and many called it an incomplete Hail Mary pass born of desperation. Perhaps a lot of this has to do with the exit polls from last Tuesday’s 5 state romp by Trump. It seems that according to the exit polls, Trump won pretty much every demographic across the board. The LA Times reported:
It’s a clean sweep for Trump in the five Republican primaries Tuesday — and exit polls from three of those states demonstrate why: He won in practically every demographic.
Take education level, for example. Trump performed strongly among those who completed less schooling — 7 in 10 of those who finished high school and around 6 in 10 of those with some college.
But he also scooped up around half of the voters with college degrees and was the top finisher, albeit more narrowly, for those with postgraduate degrees. (In Maryland, he had a virtual tie with John Kasich in the highly educated category.)
He also locked up voters across the age spectrum. In Pennsylvania and Connecticut, more than half of voters aged 18-44 picked Trump, and nearly 6 in 10 voters aged 45 and older sided with the front-runner.
His margins were slightly lower in Maryland; he won just under half of the 18- to 44-year-old voters and more than 5 in 10 voters aged 45 and up.
And while Trump’s appeal to female voters has been much scrutinized, he was the top finisher among women in all three states. He won a more than half of women in Pennsylvania and Connecticut and just short of a majority in Maryland.
All of these recent actions by Cruz reek of desperation and a flailing campaign that has now become the establishment campaign Cruz has pretended not to be. And a recent story exposes Cruz top 3 big money backers as he tries to pretend his campaign is about individual donors.
And if we go back to March 15, the day that 6 states held primaries, Trump has won 12 out of 17 contests, Cruz has won 3 of 17 and Kasich just 1. (Note – American Samoa has 9 delegates and awarded 1 to Trump and 1 to Cruz. The rest are unbound.) And the delegate count for the last 17 contests, Trump – 533, Cruz – 144.
In last week’s performance by Trump in the 5 state’s primaries, Trump dominated. And as you can see by the chart above, Trump is on steep climb as far as delegates while Cruz has flat-lined. And as the wins pile up, Trump’s momentum has picked up like a snowball rolling down a hill. Everyone wants to be on the winning side and back the winner, once that becomes inevitable.
Let’s look at the effects of the last few weeks and the Trump momentum and the effect it is having on state primaries.
California has been pretty close right up until the April 19 New York win by Donald Trump. Look at the chart below from Real Clear Politics:
As you can see by the position of the markers on April 19, Trump was leading Cruz by under 10 points, which has been historically the case in the Golden State. As of today, Trump has gone from an 8.5% lead over Cruz to a 26.4% lead since the New York win on April 19. And more significantly, Trump is now averaging 50.7%. The latest poll has him at 54%. California has 172 delegates and is a winner take all (by congressional district) state. The significance of this lead is that with Trump standing to win 172 delegates in California, if we add that to his current total he would stand at 1,168 delegates, only 69 shy of the magic number to win the nomination on the first ballot of 1,237. Winning a majority of the Indiana delegates today (57) would put Trump just 12 shy of the nomination. With The Donald expected to win both West Virginia (34 delegates) and New Jersey (51 delegates), that would put him at over 1,300, far more than required to win.
After Indiana where Trump leads in the polls by double digits and with the already mentioned West Virginia (Trump +20) and New Jersey (Trump +29) we also have Oregon where the Cruz/Kasich pact was supposed to block Trump. But a brand new poll shows Trump up by 17. Oregon is a proportional state, so Trump will no doubt add to his total delegate count.
There are other contests, but unfortunately there is no available polling data. But even if Trump does not win a single delegate beyond West Va and New Jersey (and CA) the race is over.
The momentum is heavily favoring Donald Trump. The only thing that can slow the inevitable Trump victory would be a strong and decisive victory for Ted Cruz in Indiana tonight. A victory for Trump would dry up money to Cruz and there will be no stopping Donald Trump all the way to Cleveland – and beyond. But a loss for Cruz tonight spells the end for his campaign.