In a mad dash to head off the potential that Donald Trump can amass the 1,237 delegates needed to outright win the Republican nomination, Marco Rubio is now asking his supporters in Ohio to vote for John Kasich. The goal is to deny Trump a victory in Ohio. Coupled with a possible Trump victory in Florida, winning Ohio would put him way ahead in the delegate race, likely too far to catch.
Here’s video of Rubio talking about the race in Ohio:
Report from Politico:
Marco Rubio, desperate to save his presidential campaign in his home state, is adopting the Mitt Romney strategy—asking Republicans hoping to stop Donald Trump to support his rival, John Kasich, in Ohio.
“John Kasich is the only one who can beat Donald Trump in Ohio,” Rubio said. “If a voter in Ohio is motivated by stopping Donald Trump, I suspect that’s the only choice they can make.”
The flip-side of that strategic gambit is to convince any voters in Florida not backing Trump to support him in Tuesday’s primary.
“I’m the only one who can beat Trump in Florida,” Rubio said during a press conference Friday morning at Temple Beth El.
“A vote for Ted Cruz or John Kasich in Florida is a vote for Donald Trump. Any vote that doesn’t go to me is helping Donald Trump win the 99 delegates that this state will award to the winner.”
Rubio denied any quid pro quo with Kasich. “I have not talked with John Kasich,” he said.
And Kasich’s campaign, confident of its position, showed no interest in returning the favor.
If Rubio supporters abandon the Senator in Ohio, it would likely push John Kasich to a fairly easy victory. The difference between Florida and Ohio is that Kasich is in a stronger position in his home state than Rubio is. Even if Kasich supporters backed Rubio in Florida, it’s not a guaranteed win against Trump.
I suspect Rubio is hoping that Kasich will make a reciprocal request, or at least Kasich supporters will get the hint if they are interested in trying to prevent Trump from reaching the magic delegate number.
All of this will make for a very interesting Tuesday to watch these races unfold.