Appearing on CNN, Rubio’s communications director Alex Conant said, “If you are a Republican primary voter in Ohio and you want to defeat Donald Trump, your best chance in Ohio is John Kasich.” While Kasich’s team hasn’t said anything about what his supporters in Florida should do, Conant seemed hopeful that they’ll return the favor, adding, “The same is true here in Florida.”
This scenario, where the two remaining establishment candidates would trade support in key states to help their chances, has been advocated for quite a while by conservatives who are out to halt Trump’s path to the GOP nomination.
Now, just days before the Ohio and Florida primaries, it seems that at least one candidate is desperate enough to try it. While this gambit may just be crazy enough to work, it’s pretty late in the game to try to get supporters to vote strategically like this, and strategic voting doesn’t always work.
In any case, this tactic is somewhat reminiscent of the 1836 election, when the Whig Party ran a series of candidates with strong regional support in an attempt to stop the Jacksonian candidate, Martin Van Buren. It didn’t work.