Ted Cruz and John Kasich have decided, somewhat late in the game, that the combined might of their campaigns is the only thing that can stop Donald Trump from winning the GOP nomination. With Trump poised to win all five Eastern states voting in Tuesday's "Acela primary," the Cruz and Kasich campaigns issued statements Sunday night announcing that they will divide their efforts in three later primaries, the Guardian reports. Kasich's campaign says it will give Cruz a "clear path in Indiana," which votes May 3, and Cruz's campaign plans to clear the way for Kasich in Oregon, which votes May 17, and New Mexico, which holds its GOP primary June 7.
Sources tell the Washington Post that the plan to stop Trump from amassing the necessary 1,237 delegates had been in the works for a while and was finalized between campaign strategists on Sunday. Cruz and Kasich, who will apparently still compete against each other in states like California, are hoping for a contested convention, which would be their only chance of winning the nomination. After the plan was unveiled, Trump slammed his rivals as "mathematically dead and totally desperate." "Wow, just announced that Lyin' Ted and Kasich are going to collude in order to keep me from getting the Republican nomination. DESPERATION!" he tweeted. (Trump has a big lead in Pennsylvania, but a quirk of the state's "loophole primary" could end up hurting him.)