I believe the Republican Party of Ohio, as an enduring institution, is among the most effective state parties in the country, and has been for very long time. And Ohio is a Midland state, a balance of political forces that does not produce extremes. And John Kasich is a true Buckeye, a graduate of Ohio State, and a popular and effective governor. Rubio and Kasich have stayed out of Ohio, in deference to him. And while the antics of the Trump Circus endear him to his base, they scare a lot of other people. He has to be taken seriously, and I think people will turn out simply to vote against him.
If Kasich wins Ohio, Trump almost certainly won’t get to 1237. And unless he comes to Cleveland with a majority, he will not be allowed to win the nomination.
If Rubio or Kasich stays in the race, they’re in for a rude awakening one week from today, when Utah and Arizona go big for Cruz. Ten days later the 28 delegates from North Dakota will be elected at the State Convention.
In many ways, North Dakota is an oddball state. The North Dakota Mill, one of the largest grain millers in the country, is owned by the State of North Dakota. Socialism, pure and simple. But that’s the way the people of North Dakota want it. They have peculiar rules in their state legislature. Bills which are introduced must be voted on. They can’t simply be killed by legislative leadership. Odd. The 28 delegates to Cleveland will be hand picked by the leaders of the North Dakota Republican Party. The RNC told them that if that had a Presidential preference vote at their precinct caucuses, that vote would have to be honored in delegate selection. So they said to heck with that, and the voters of North Dakota will have no say in picking those 28 delegates. The Party picks them, based on their past contributions, monetary and otherwise, to the Republican Party of North Dakota.
Most Republican Party activists are not Trump people. Anything but. They are the establishment, and they’re just fine with that. I very much doubt Trump gets one delegate in North Dakota. I made a few calls back there today, and there seems to be a lot of support for Cruz. In sum, and in reality, North Dakota is a Cruz win. That’s three in a row.
Next up is Wisconsin, 42 delegates, and, apparently, winner take all. This primary, on April 5th, could be the one that proves, beyond doubt, that Trump has no path to a majority. It should be one on one by that time, and with Gov. Scott Walker and the entire Republican Party of Wisconsin behind him, Cruz should win easily, and establish himself, once and for all, as the last man standing, the one who gets to deliver the much anticipated knockout blow. In delivering the death blow to Trumpism, Cruz will unite the party behind him. The Trump cultists will be all pissed off. But how many of them will vote for Hillary?
And, to tell you the truth, even if Trump goes third party, I still think Cruz wins. Hillary and Bernie are unelectable. As general election candidates, they’re both jokes. Harry Truman won in 1948, despite Strom Thurmond and Henry Wallace both running third party against him.
If Ohio goes for Trump, I know even less than I think I do. But that won’t mean it’s over. Not by a long shot.