Cruz, Kasich unite to battle Trump

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) 2016 at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, outside Washington, on March 4, 2016. If Trump is to be denied nomination, uncommitted delegates will have to go to Mr Cruz. PHOTO | SAUL LOEB | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Trump leads substantially in the delegate battle, with 846 delegates compared to 563 for Cruz and 147 for Kasich.
  • A candidate must secure 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination outright.

BRIDGEPORT

Ted Cruz and John Kasich have agreed to join forces to try to deny frontrunner Donald Trump the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, their campaigns said Monday.

The sudden alliance, revealed in short statements, arose due to the pressing timing of the Republican party’s presidential primary season.

Five states vote Tuesday in the Republican race — Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island — and Trump leads in all of them.

Trump, a wealthy property developer and reality television star, has pushed quite close to amassing the number of delegates to the party convention in Cleveland in July that would ensure his status as the Republican standard-bearer.

But he is not there yet. And Cruz and Kasich know their only chance to stop him is a contested convention.

A candidate must secure 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination outright.

Trump leads substantially in the delegate battle, with 846 delegates compared to 563 for Cruz and 147 for Kasich.

If Trump is to be denied, uncommitted delegates will have to go to Mr Cruz.

“Having Donald Trump at the top of the ticket in November would be a sure disaster for Republicans. Not only would Trump get blown out by (Hillary) Clinton or (Bernie) Sanders, but having him as our nominee would set the party back a generation,” Mr Cruz’s campaign manager Jeff Roe said in a statement.

“To ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November, our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Governor Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico,” Mr Kasich’s team put out a similar statement.

“Our goal is to have an open convention in Cleveland, where we are confident a candidate capable of uniting the party,” it stressed.

A dismissive Trump said on Twitter: “Wow, just announced that Lyin’ Ted and Kasich are going to collude in order to keep me from getting the Republican nomination.

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