Tags: Trump Administration | Donald Trump | GOP2016 | Ted Cruz | cruz | two-man | fight

Inside Cruz's Two-Man Fight Strategy to Beat Trump

Image: Inside Cruz's Two-Man Fight Strategy to Beat Trump
Ted Cruz (Photo by Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 14 Mar 2016 01:14 PM

Sen. Ted Cruz's campaign reportedly hopes the GOP presidential contest will soon be down to a two-man fight — and is betting on beating Donald Trump by-the-numbers even if the front-runner sweeps contests Tuesday in Florida and Ohio.

According to Politico, if Trump scores wins in both primaries, he'd have more than half the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the Republican nomination this summer — but Team Cruz is hoping it might also force Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich to quit, Politico reports.

"If we are able to get [Trump] head-to-head in a two-person race, then we will win this race," Jeff Roe, Cruz's campaign manager, declares to Politico.

The climb is daunting, Politico notes. Cruz would likely be at least 250 delegates behind Trump after Tuesday, and would essentially need to sweep the rest of the way.

"All we have to do in a two-person is, we need to win 55-45," Chris Wilson, Cruz's research director and pollster, tells Politico. "We do that the rest of the way, we're the nominee."

Roe also is confident of the campaign's two-man-fight strategy.

"I don't want to put any clippings on our opponents' locker room but I'll say this: In surveys that we've taken in a two-man race versus a four-man race, in the states after March 12, we see, of the 70 percent that's available [among current non-Trump voters], we literally see 90 percent of that vote to come to us," he tells Politico.

The Texas lawmaker also has to do well in the other states voting this Tuesday, Politico reports, since Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina offer more delegates than Florida and Ohio.

And Cruz has to consolidate voters' support fast afterward. Arizona and Utah vote on March 22.

According to Politico, the Cruz campaign began buying ads in Arizona over the weekend, reserving $200,000 over 10 days, in a state where immigration issues are key and Trump has the backing of former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and anti-immigration leader Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

In Utah, Cruz has the endorsement of influential Utah Sen. Mike Lee, but he also could benefit from a winner-take-all provision that would kick in if any candidate gets at least 50 percent of the vote, Politico reports.

Politico also points out that states voting after March 15 are less favorable to Cruz's religious-based conservatism, including Connecticut and Rhode Island and delegate-rich Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, plus New York and New Jersey.

"Arizona looks good, Utah looks good, Wisconsin looks good," Wilson tells Politico. "I mean, you can look at the models right down to the congressional district level in California and see very clearly how this works itself out. And that's even if you give New Jersey to Trump and you give Trump a majority in New York. Even allowing for those two potentially unlikely scenarios, if we gather a lot of momentum, we still pass 1,237."

"Not until June [7]," he adds. "But we still do."

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Sen. Ted Cruz's campaign reportedly hopes the GOP presidential contest will soon be down to a two-man fight — and is betting on beating Donald Trump by-the-numbers even if the front-runner sweeps contests Tuesday in Florida and Ohio.
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2016-14-14
Monday, 14 Mar 2016 01:14 PM
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