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If the Republican Party heads into a brokered convention with so much undecided, it would be deeply destructive. Donald Trump would not be the nominee. But the nominee would not be decided till then. Hillary Clinton would have a free pass to define the GOP and many people would throw their hands up in disgust.
The best way to stop Trump now is for Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio to unite. The Rubio camp says that moving forward Cruz will have a harder and harder time winning. But the Rubio camp ignores voter psychology that shifts. Right now, Cruz has won four states, Rubio one state, and Cruz leads Rubio in delegates significantly. Also, Rubio is way behind in Florida. Voter psychology says voters like winners and Rubio really is not winning much.
If Cruz and Rubio make clear that they are going to do a unity ticket with Cruz as President and Rubio as Vice President, they can tag team Trump around the nation. Both would still technically be running for President so both could stay in the debates and pound Trump. Rubio could concentrate his forces in Florida, he and Cruz could tag-team in Ohio or cut a deal with Kasich, and Cruz can concentrate elsewhere.
Together, Cruz and Rubio can concentrate all their firepower on Trump, refuse to take further shots at each other, and the outside groups can all go after Trump with devastating effect. Consider exit polling after Super Tuesday showing many voters still had not heard about Trump University. But they had already begun the shift away from Trump.
In Oklahoma and Arkansas, the Club For Growth went after Trump relentlessly. In Oklahoma, the Club helped Trump lose and in Arkansas Cruz came within two points of Trump. The negative ads work and Trump has given plenty of material from his defense of Planned Parenthood to a refusal to denounce the KKK to Trump University and his various business con jobs.
Cruz and Rubio need to unite now. They need to do it strategically and they need to not take any bait to attack each other. If they make it clear that headed into the convention they will be the unity ticket, it overcomes the stigma of a brokered convention, increases the chances they can actually avoid a brokered convention, and undermines the legitimacy of the Trump campaign.
In 1980, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush fought a bitter primary. Bush coined the term “voodoo economics” about Reagan’s economic plan. But the two men set aside their differences, united, and beat both Jimmy Carter and John Anderson. For the good of not just the party, but the country, it is time for Cruz and Rubio to unite. After last night, Cruz has legitimacy to say he gets the top spot. Now we need both men to recognize they must stop Trump together.