COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 12 (UPI) — A day after Florida Sen. Marco Rubio implored supporters in Ohio to vote for rival Gov. John Kasich in a bid to stymie front-runner Donald Trump, some of Rubio’s fans are less than enthusiastic about the idea.
Rubio’s unorthodox strategy — which the Kasich campaign has rebuffed — is born out of the bleak delegate math before both candidates. After Tuesday, there will not be enough delegates still at stake in the GOP presidential primary for either Rubio or Kasich to win the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination outright.
However, if they continue to split delegates four ways, it is still possible to deny Trump his own outright majority, which would lead to a contested party convention in Cleveland this summer — the only scenario under which Rubio or Kasich would be able to win the nomination.
Polls show Kasich stands a much better chance of defeating Trump in Ohio than Rubio, who is a distant fourth in most surveys ahead of Tuesday’s winner-take-all primary.
Except, for some Rubio supporters in the Buckeye State, the request to vote for Kasich is a tough pill to swallow. Politico reports many anti-establishment voters view Kasich skeptically after 18 years in public service.
Adding to the problem behind Rubio’s pledge: Ohio allows early voting, meaning many of his most ardent supporters there may be among the 84,000 Ohioans who have already cast a ballot — for Rubio.