Kyle Wingfield

Political commentary and opinion from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's conservative blogger

Maybe it's not that Trump can't lose, but that Cruz and Kasich can't win


Evidently, Ted Cruz's doesn't feel his alliance with John Kasich was enough of a winner. He just announced  Carly Fiorina would join the GOP ticket as his running mate if he were to be the party's nominee.

Fiorina would be a good choice for any Republican nominee: She performed well in the debates and has already honed an attack on Hillary Clinton that would be useful in the fall (the running mate typically goes after the other party's nominee). I've thought for a while that a president could do much worse than turning Fiorina loose on the federal bureaucracy: Who wouldn't like to see a bit of corporate-style downsizing brought to Washington?

All that said, Cruz and Kasich are looking less and less likely to pull off the feat needed to keep Donald Trump from being the nominee. And that tells us as much about them as it does about Trump.

Like Hillary, Trump is eminently beatable because a large number of voters simply don't like him. There is also a path , albeit increasingly narrow, for his rivals to force a contested convention where he could be beaten. But also like her, Trump may survive because the competition just isn't capable of doing the job.

Cruz is the candidate who sought to win by winning evangelicals and the "very" conservative. But he's lost those voters to Trump in a number of states, including the past four that had exit polls .

Still, at least Cruz has won some of the states he was supposed to win. Other than his home state of Ohio, Kasich hasn't.

Worse, Kasich hasn't even been competitive in the states where he was thought to have a chance of giving Trump a real race. He didn't break 30 percent in any of Tuesday's states, the kind of bluish, East Coast states where Kasich claims to be strong but always disappoints. In the 10 states north and east of Ohio and D.C., Kasich has won 31 delegates . Cruz, who had virtually no expectations in those states, has 22 (and will almost certainly have the loyalty more than nine of Pennsylvania's 54 unbound delegates). He's beyond toast .

Yet Kasich soldiers on, perhaps undercutting Cruz's next last chance at keeping Trump from reaching the magic number of 1,237. That would be next week's Indiana primary. The Texan has faced these do-or-die situations before, in his home state as well as places like Utah and Wisconsin, but he's running out of Alamos.


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About the Author

Kyle Wingfield joined the AJC in 2009. He is a native of Dalton and a graduate of the University of Georgia.