Oh my: Cruz 45, Trump 29, Kasich 13 in Indiana?

Either this is a freakish misfire, wildly out of sync with every other recent poll of Indiana (as well as Cruz’s own internal polling, reportedly) and misleading about the actual state of the race after Trump’s massive landslides this week in the mid-Atlantic, or … actually, I can’t think of a second option.

Screw it. I need hope wherever I can find it now, whether at the bottom of a glass or in dubious polling. One word, my friends: Cruzmentum.

“This is good news for Cruz, but the volatility of the electorate means all campaigns should view these results cautiously,” pollster Andrew Downs said in a statement.

In the past week, Kasich has said he won’t campaign in Indiana as part of an agreement with Cruz to stop Trump from winning enough delegates to clinch the nomination before the Republican National Convention in July.

On Wednesday, Cruz announced Carly Fiorina would be his running mate . And on Friday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) announced he would vote for Cruz in the state’s primary Tuesday…

The survey was conducted among 400 registered likely voters in Indiana April 13–27 and has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.

The poll was conducted over two weeks and was already in the field nearly a week before Trump’s landslide in New York, never mind the five-state sweep he pulled off a few days ago. And it missed the Pence endorsement, of course, and barely included the Fiorina pick. There’s no reason to believe that this, rather than the various polls showing Trump up by mid- to high single digits, is the more accurate reflection of how things stand in Indiana. But I’m going to print it out, tuck it under my pillow, and dream sweet dreams all weekend, yes I am!

Speaking of terrible polling numbers, here’s some Friday-afternoon funny from Byron York about how Republican political pros are coping with the prospect of the blue tidal wave that’s headed this way. When the data is against you, embrace “feelings”:

“Trump does bring a little magic to this in that he could shuffle the traditional battleground map,” one former presidential campaign manager told me. “I haven’t seen any data on that, but I’m just getting a feeling that he’s going to put a couple of Midwestern states in play.”

“I saw Goeas’ poll this week,” the former manager continued, referring to Ed Goeas, the Republican author of the Battleground Poll. “Look, Trump hasn’t even started to take out Hillary yet. He hasn’t even begun taking it to her, and when he does, it’s a two-prong thing. One, it unites the party like no other thing, and two, it will start to damage her. Look at what he’s done to Lyin’ Ted and Little Marco and Low Energy Jeb.”

I’ve got the same feeling that this new Indiana poll, not the other half-dozen that completely contradict it, is the One True Snapshot of the race. As for Ed Goeas’s memo, you can read that yourself right here. It’s an economical two pages, but if you don’t have time, here’s a money quote: “Any winning Republican Presidential candidate needs to keep the gender gap within single digits and needs to win the married female vote by double digits. Right now, Donald Trump is failing to meet either of these goals. His abysmal image ratings with female voters (26% favorable/72% unfavorable and 62% strongly unfavorable on our latest Battleground survey) along with his lifetime record of making vile and offensive statements about women make any improvement in these deficits next to impossible.” Seems daunting, but my gut’s telling me he’s going to win 47 states so I’d say it’s a wash.

The first target for Trump in the general election, by the way, will be Bernie Sanders fans, which will be a heavy lift given that they skew young and young voters really don’t like Trump. But who knows? The Bernie fans at Salon already hate Hillary enough for beating Sanders in the primary that they’re running pro-Trump pieces. Maybe #NeverHillary on the left will exceed #NeverTrump on the right. In lieu of an exit question, here’s the latest ad in Indiana from the anti-Trump PAC “Our Principles.” The message from Cruz and his allies from now until the end of the primaries on June 7th will be simple and straightforward: Trump. Can’t. Beat. Hillary.