Blame Kasich if Trump ends up as the nominee

Here’s John Kasich’s fundamental misunderstanding of this primary race: The Trump vote is static. His supporters aren’t going anywhere. But the anti-Trump vote is elastic. It can bend in any direction. It shifts between Kasich and Cruz depending on the terrain. In proportional states, the distribution of the non-Trump vote doesn’t matter. But in states where there’s a prize for coming in first, either statewide or by congressional district, then the distribution of the non-Trump vote is all that matters. When asked to choose between Cruz and Trump, Kasich voters go with Cruz overwhelmingly. Yet Kasich is so stubbornly and stupidly and selfishly focused on maximizing his share of the anti-Trump vote that the Trump vote remains the same.

The strategy is mindless. I’ll say it again: It doesn’t matter how many delegates Kasich accrues. The only thing that matters, the only prospect he or anyone else has of securing the nomination, is keeping Trump from winning on the first ballot. If Trump loses, and Cruz proves unable to secure the second ballot, the opportunities are endless—for Kasich, for Scott Walker, for General Mattis, for anyone who can unify the party. But for Kasich to be in such a position, he’d have to show he cares more about stopping Donald Trump than he does about picking up a few more delegates.

Right now Kasich is the guy for Republicans who can’t bring themselves to support either Trump or Cruz. Voting for Kasich relieves them of the burden of having to choose between two men they find distasteful.

It’s an evasion. Doesn’t get these voters anywhere.