The Anti-Trump Movement Plans to Make a Stand in Indiana, but It May Not Be Enough

Losing in the Northeast was part of the strategy
By Steven Klett, Epoch Times
April 26, 2016 Updated: May 3, 2016
  • Donald Trump has 954 delegates, 283 short of the required 1,237.
  • Of the 502 delegates remaining, he needs 56 percent.
  • The “Anti-Trump” movement plans to make a stand in Indiana on May 3.

One takeaway from the Republican New York primary on April 19 was that the “Anti-Trump” movement failed to move beyond the mid-west after the Wisconsin primary.

However, this was all part of the “Anti-Trump” movement’s strategy: lose in the Northeast, but make a stand in Mid-West, when the primaries come back to winner-takes-all states like Indiana.

The Wisconsin primary was hailed as the potential demise of a Donald Trump presidency barely two weeks before New York. Around the state, radio hosts, politicians, and local papers all lined up behind Ted Cruz to shut out Trump. 

The result—Cruz won 36 delegates to Trump’s 6.

Cruz Hunts for Delegates    

Cruz continued the narrative of the “Anti-Trump” movement by out-maneuvering Trump in insider-only party conventions in Colorado and North Dakota—picking up valuable delegates to the chagrin of the Trump campaign who declared that it was anti-democratic. 

However, Ted Cruz’s prohibitive delegate snagging hit a road block when it came to New York. The argument that spurred on the “Anti-Trump” movement consisted of the general message that Donald Trump is “not one of us.”

Instead it was Cruz who was not “one of us”—he had pejoratively used “New York values” as an attack on Trump, and wound up with zero delegates in the state that he had unwittingly insulted. 

Take, for example, the lashing Trump received from Wisconsin talk radio host and standard bearer for the Anti-Trump movement Charlie Sykes:

“You can’t parachute in here from Manhattan and [expletive] on everything we’ve been doing for the last 20 years,” said Sykes, in an interview with Politico before the Wisconsin election.

“But people here have a well-attuned BS meter,” he said. “Donald Trump’s approval rating in southeast Wisconsin is extremely low because people pay attention.”

Does that imply, by contrast, that New Yorkers don’t pay attention—given his 61 percent win at the polls in New York?

Not necessarily. 

Unlike Wisconsin, the Anti-Trump movement spent virtually no money on attack ads, and Trump was even endorsed by local papers like The New York Post. 

The result—Trump shut out Cruz 90 to 0. 

In Wisconsin, the Anti-Trump “Club for Growth” Super PAC spent a total of $2 million, but spent barely any money in New York for ads, and has only spent $19,000 for the upcoming April 26 primaries in the Northeast—spending nothing on Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Delaware or Connecticut. The only state with any funding to stop Trump on April 26 is in Maryland. 

The next battleground for the “Anti-Trump” movement is in Indiana on May 3, where the Super PAC has allocated $1.4 million.

‘Anti-Trump’ Conceded the Northeast

Looking at those numbers, MSNBC asked a rhetorical question, “If the message that Trump is wholly unacceptable to be the party’s nominee, why aren’t these groups fighting Trump everywhere?”

The answer is simple: the “Anti-Trump” movement didn’t gain much by making a stand in the Northeast—and lost with margins similar to the New York primary.

Trump support in states like Delaware and Connecticut showed insurmountable margins, and by economically putting resources in states that would have a closer race, e.g. Indiana, the Anti-Trump movement have much more of a chance of stopping him from getting a majority of the delegates.  

After the April 26 primaries, Trump has marched closer to the necessary 1,237 delegates to get a majority, getting 109 of the 172 delegates.

He currently has 954 delegates, 283 delegates short of the majority. 

That means that of the 502 delegates left in the Republican primary season, Trump needs 56 percent of those remaining delegates to reach the majority before the first ballot is cast in the convention. 

Indiana is a winner-takes-all state with 57 delegates at stake and votes on May 3. In recent polls, Trump is leading Cruz by 5 or 6 percent in Indiana, and with the “Anti-Trump” Super PAC pouring money into the state, the movement hopes to replicate its successes in Wisconsin.

However, even with an upset in Indiana, Trump is going to go into the June 7 primaries—where 303 delegates are at stake—within easy striking distance of a majority.