Donald Trump can still win the nomination before the convention. But if he doesn’t, as with everything else he does, he won’t act like any other “loser.” He won’t run as an independent. And he won’t bow out graciously. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz and John Kasich are “sandbagging” him.


First, let’s put to bed what the Wall Street Journal calls “Trump’s emptiest threat.”

The New York businessman is also leaving the door open to an independent bid for the White House if he is denied the nomination at the national convention. “I have been treated very unfairly,” he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper late last month.

Republicans should be concerned about the suggestions of violence, but they can stop worrying about Mr. Trump’s threats to run as an independent. The reason is simple: According to the National Association of Secretaries of State, by the time Republicans gather in Cleveland on July 18, the deadline for Mr. Trump to be listed on the ballot as an independent will already have passed in 12 states with a combined 166 Electoral College votes. . .

Much of what Mr. Trump says is unserious bluster. Republicans can now safely put in that category his threat to run as an independent.

This is important, because on Sunday, Ted Cruz and John Kasich agreed to “sandbag” Trump—by colluding to defeat him.

Within minutes of each other, the pair issued statements saying they will divide their efforts in upcoming contests with Cruz focusing on Indiana and Kasich devoting his efforts to Oregon and New Mexico. The strategy is aimed at blocking Trump from gaining the 1,237 delegates necessary to claim to GOP nomination this summer.

It’s all part of the “Stratego” game of the political establishment that we’ve seen throughout history. And Trump is sick of the hypocrisy of establishment politicians.

Don’t expect to see Donald Trump give a humble concession speech if he loses the Republican presidential primary.

During a rally on Sunday in Maryland, the Republican presidential frontrunner mocked candidates who praise their opponents during concession speeches. . .

“They fight like hell for six months, and they’re saying horrible things, the worst things you can imagine,” Trump said. “And then one of them loses, one of them wins. And the one who loses says, ‘I just want to congratulate my opponent. He is a brilliant man, he’ll be a great governor or president or whatever.'”. . .

Trump’s mockery wasn’t relegated just to the electoral losers. On Sunday, he also said the winners were too modest.

“Half the times [the winners] put them in the administration, that’s how they get rid of them,” Trump said of the losing candidates.

For all their machinations, can Cruz and Trump really thwart the voting public? One analyst doesn’t think so.

For decades, the Republican Party gave voters the impression that they get to pick the presidential nominee. The much-weakened GOP establishment theoretically has the power to choose someone else — but not, I believe, the strength of purpose to do it. . .

The Cruz campaign has worked tirelessly, and quite successfully, to ensure that as many delegates as possible are Cruz supporters, even if they are pledged to vote for Trump on the convention’s first ballot. . .

To pull this off, however, Cruz would need the support, or at least the acquiescence, of party insiders — who dislike Cruz almost as much as Trump. Many leading Republicans believe, in fact, that Cruz, with his hard-right views, would be an even surer loser in November than the unpredictable Trump, who is unburdened by philosophy. . .

Trump would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to see what’s coming. In recent speeches, he has staked out the position that the candidate who comes to the convention with the biggest number of delegates should be the nominee, period. Polls show that a majority of Republicans agree with the helmet-haired billionaire. It turns out that once you tell people they get to choose their standard-bearer, they don’t take kindly to being patted on the head and told to go sit in the corner.

The new Cruz/Kasich alignment will play out this week and into the June primaries. Expect Trump to touch on this topic Tuesday night if he wins big in the mid-Atlantic states.

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Goethe Behr is a Contributing Editor and Moderator at Election Central. He started out posting during the 2008 election, became more active during 2012, and very active in 2016. He has been a political junkie since the 1950s and enjoys adding a historical perspective.

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