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Anti-Trump Republicans desperate to stop the billionaire from being their nominee are discussing creative ways to halt his momentum.
One such idea, according to a GOP source familiar with discussions, would be a so-called “split the map” strategy for the remaining GOP contests. Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s campaign would focus on eastern states where his brand of Republicanism is most salient, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz would put his efforts in western states where he tends to do better.
Behind this strategy is the reality that Donald Trump is so far ahead with GOP delegates that the best way to keep him from getting close to the 1,237 needed for the nomination is to have one opponent in each contest.
Because neither Kasich nor Cruz intends to drop out, the idea would be for Kasich to put his resources and time in states like New York, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, which have primaries at the end of April. Cruz would keep his focus on states like Arizona and Utah this coming Tuesday and then Nebraska, Oregon and South Dakota in the months to come.
‘Not thinking that way’
When asked about the idea in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Kasich said he is “not thinking that way” at this point, but that “we always talk.”
But he added: “You gotta understand that this is sort of a mission for all of us, and it’s not just me, it’s the team.”
He also said he thinks he can win all over the country.
“I’m thinking that we’re getting momentum and I can go East and I can go West. You know, think about California and me, OK, you know, I’ve got positions that unify people,” Kasich said.
A senior Cruz official told CNN the campaign had heard about the “split the map” strategy but dismissed it as not viable.