Is John Kasich politically damaged

Republicans' plan B against Trump

After Donald Trump's electoral successes on Super Tuesday and the subsequent primary elections in Mississippi and Michigan, the Republican party leadership is running out of time to hold up the unloved top candidate on the way to nomination. Driven by the party establishment's deep aversion to the real estate mogul and the fear that a presidential candidate Trump could finally hit the party against the wall, the idea of ​​a "contested convention" has recently become a "contested convention" in German Party congress ". This is the only way, according to the thesis, that Trump could still be accepted.

The scenario for a "contested convention" looks something like this: Trump's opponents - currently Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and John Kasich - win enough votes with the pending primaries to prevent him from receiving the absolute majority necessary for the nomination (1237 ) in delegate votes before the party congress in July. Since Trump - or one of the other candidates - will then have a relative majority, it will have to be decided in battle votes who should become the Democrats' challenger. A deal could then emerge in back rooms so that Trump can be thrown out of this process. Particularly absurd: Such an agreement could theoretically even be negotiated if Trump received the necessary 1237 votes due to the primaries.

This scenario has a problem anyway. It is very unlikely to happen.

Wishful thinking instead of reality

"There will be a 'contested convention' the moment the leading candidate drops dead," says Byron Shafer, author of a book on US party conventions and political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "If Donald Trump doesn't drop dead before the Florida and Ohio primaries, he'll be the Republican presidential candidate in two weeks."

Although Trump is currently 458 votes against his most important opponent Ted Cruz (359) so far in the delegate vote is not unassailable in the lead. But he is the clear favorite in Florida and can also win the state of Ohio. The elections in both states will take place in the third week of March.

Desperately looking for candidate who can stop Trump

If the polls are correct, Cruz can't win Florida or Ohio. Under the most optimistic scenario for Trump opponents, Marco Rubio Florida and John Kasich Ohio would win. More realistic, however, is that Trump will win in Florida and Ohio will be a neck and neck race between Kasich and Trump.

Since the election winner in both states receives all delegate votes in contrast to the previous primaries, Florida and Ohio could be preliminary.

"If Trump wins Florida his nomination is not guaranteed, but he is making great strides," said Iwan Morgan, professor of US studies at University College London. If Trump wins both primaries, the experts say, the race would practically end prematurely.

Contempt and fear

The fact that the idea of ​​trying to slow down Donald Trump's candidacy at the party congress is still booming despite its low prospect of success shows how desperate many conservatives are now.

"The party leadership, but also people at the grassroots level, are very afraid that Donald Trump has already irreparably damaged the party's reputation and will continue to do so. That is why a 'contested convention' appears to be the only way out how it can be stopped now." says Adam Ramey, an expert on US politics at New York University in Abu Dhabi. "But it is extremely unlikely that it will come to that."

His colleague Shafer thinks the panic efforts of the Republican party establishment to find an alternative to Trump are pointless and far too late. "It doesn't matter what the establishment does now."

Trump also has a plan B.

"The way in which both parties operate their delegate system these days makes it practically impossible for an openly contested party convention to happen," says Ramey.

Even the 2012 candidate, Mitt Romney, could be put in a fight vote

Trump's threat that he would run as an independent candidate if he feels badly treated by the party means that agreements in the back room at the party congress are almost impossible. Because if Trump actually entered the race as an independent candidate, an election victory for the Democrats would be practically guaranteed. In addition, this would put a further strain on the already ailing relationship between the conservative base and the party leadership.

"If Trump wins the nomination and has most, if not the majority, of delegate votes, then a large part of the Republican party leadership will ultimately vote for Trump on the motto of 'close your eyes and through'," says Ramey.