The presidential campaigns of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich may be planning to divvy up California’s 53 congressional districts in an effort to deny frontrunner Donald Trump a large win in the California primary.
If Cruz can defeat Trump in the June 7 contest, or Cruz and Kasich can hold Trump’s win to a small margin, they may deny him the 1,237 delegates overall that he will need to prevail on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention in July.
On Sunday, anti-Trump political consultant Rob Stutzman, who is leading an effort to force a contested convention by denying Trump enough delegates in California, tweeted that he was preparing a district-by-district plan for strategic voting:
Excellent development. We look forward to determining same on CA cds in the next couple weeks. https://t.co/JxT8cf3vBh
— Rob Stutzman (@RobStutzman) April 25, 2016
Stutzman, who was an aide to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (who is supporting Kasich), laid out a similar plan earlier this month in an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee:
We are focused on helping the 65 percent of Republican voters who don’t want to vote for Trump to connect to the candidate in their region who is most likely to defeat Trump in their congressional district. Remember, neither Cruz nor Kasich can win the nomination before the convention. Essentially, Californians will be voting to ensure an open convention.
To that end, our effort will help inform voters of their optimal choice between Cruz and Kasich, depending upon which candidate is naturally the strongest against Trump in their district. Ideally, voters will be seeing that information from us on their TV screens, laptops and phones, and in their mailboxes as they prepare to vote. Also, we will strive to make this guidance available via Web searches.
Though the campaigns have yet to announce such a plan officially, there were hints of such a plan in Sunday’s announcement of a Cruz-Katich electoral pact, which was quiet on California as it divided several remaining primary states between the two campaigns in the hope of denying Trump victories.
However, after Tuesday’s primary results, which saw Trump sweeping the northeastern states, Nate Cohn of the New York Times was skeptical of the reported plan, writing: “There is little precedent for this kind of alliance, and it’s hard to say whether it could be communicated well to voters who aren’t accustomed to sophisticated, district-by-district tactical voting.”
He noted that Kasich had effectively denied Cruz the chance to confront Trump in a one-on-one contest, and was refusing to pull out of his campaign because of the prospects of winning a few districts in San Francisco and Los Angeles, which would bolster his own case for the Republican nomination, in the event of a contested convention. (Breitbart News analysis agrees.)
Yet Cohn adds that if Trump wins Indiana May 3, a win in California could seal the 1,237-delegate majority for Trump.
Breitbart California has performed district-by-district analysis in each of the state’s 53 congressional districts, available here.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new e-book, Leadership Secrets of the Kings and Prophets: What the Bible’s Struggles Teach Us About Today, is on sale through Amazon Kindle Direct. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.