In a last-ditch effort to prevent Donald Trump from reaching 1,237 delegates and securing the nomination before the Republican convention, Ted Cruz and John Kasich have decided to work together. Cruz announced on Sunday that he would refrain from campaigning in Oregon and New Mexico. Kasich returned in kind, by announcing he would not campaign in Indiana. In doing so, they hope to consolidate support and win decisively in all three states. But, as you probably expected, it's not that easy.
As it turns out, the GOP is hemorrhaging support. It was widely expected that Ted Cruz and John Kasich would mop up supporters of dropouts like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, who are assumed to view Mr. Trump negatively. However, when faced with the prospect of a Trump, Cruz or Kasich presidency, a significant part of Bush and Rubio donors have actually crossed the street to support Hillary Clinton. Ouch!
If you hover over Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush in the Sankey diagram below, you will notice a segment of their donors going blue.
The flocking of moderate GOP donors to Hillary Clinton illustrates how all three remaining GOP candidates have failed to secure establishment support - a fact that is hardly surprising, given Trump and Cruz's anti-establishment rhetoric, and Kasich's low polling. Though inflammatory speech has been the secret sauce that has gotten Donald Trump and Ted Cruz this far in the primary, we've found it comes at a price: the loss of moderate supporters. What remains to be seen is how much the lack of establishment support will hurt the eventual Republican nominee in the general election.
As for the Cruz-Kasich alliance, they might have more faith in their supporters than their supporters have in them.