Last night was a big night for Ted Cruz, as he predicted it would be. He won three states and competed very closely in several others.
While the delegates still aren’t fully awarded yet, the current count already has the Associated Press suggesting that Ted Cruz is emerging as the candidate who can stop Donald Trump:
Despite Donald Trump’s string of victories on Tuesday, he has to do better in upcoming contests to claim the Republican nomination for president before the party’s national convention this summer, an AP delegate count shows.
Ted Cruz is emerging as the candidate who could stop him — with a little help from Marco Rubio.
A close look at the delegate math illustrates Trump’s problem. So far Trump has won only 46 percent of the delegates that have been awarded, even though he has won 10 of the first 15 contests. It takes an outright majority of delegates to win the nomination.
Going forward, Trump would have to win 52 percent of the remaining delegates to claim the nomination. That’s doable but difficult with three or more candidates claiming delegates.
On Tuesday, Cruz muted Trump’s delegate gains by winning delegate-rich Texas, which is Cruz’s home state.
The delegate math shows the importance of the March 15 primaries in Florida and Ohio, in which the statewide winner gets all the delegates. Winning those states could boost Trump to a commanding lead in the delegate count, but Florida is Rubio’s home state and Ohio is home for John Kasich, the state’s governor.
This fits perfectly with Cruz’s assertion that he is the only one who can beat Donald Trump and that all the others should consider dropping out of the race and supporting him.
This also begs the question, as Bill Kristol suggested last night, is it time for a Cruz/Rubio ticket?
Here’s the current delegate count after last night for the top 3 candidates:
Kasich has 25 and Carson has 8.
You can see much more on this by checking out the AP’s delegate tracker.
When all the Super Tuesday results are tallied, the New York Times is estimating that Cruz will have won 224 delegates to Trump’s 241 delegates out of the 595 awarded last night.
— Joel C. Rosenberg (@JoelCRosenberg) March 2, 2016
That’s a big deal, especially considering Rubio will have only won 108 if this ends up being correct. The estimate is in flux, but it’s pretty accurate as the current count suggests.
The narrative is set. Cruz is the only one who can beat Trump and everyone else should unite behind him.