There is no glory in losing, at least not when comes to Presidential elections. Despite the best spin doctors in the world, a loss is a loss and even Marco Rubio’s famous third place “win” in Iowa couldn’t be spun into a real argument to support him. On Super Tuesday 3, the math starts to get a little fuzzier and it might actually be better for Donald Trump if he loses Ohio, Florida, or both.
Pundits are pointing to the idea that if Trump wins both winner-take-all states, he’ll be practically unstoppable the rest of the way. This is a sad misunderstanding by those who follow this narrative as it’s being painted by mainstream media because winning those states will ensure one thing: a two-man race. If neither Kasich nor Rubio can carry their own states, they will leave the race. If either win, theirs a good chance that they’ll stay in. Trump benefits from either or both staying in for as long as possible because in a head-to-head matchup with Ted Cruz, he gets crushed.
Some are saying that he’ll have such a large delegate lead that Cruz couldn’t catch up even if Rubio and Kasich drop out after losing, but that’s not true. There are 1,034 delegates in winner-take-all states that vote after Super Tuesday 3, which means that the voters who oppose Trump, which are the majority, can actually shift the race to favor Cruz very easily. Assuming that Trump wins New Jersey and Maryland, he would still be behind Cruz in the overall delegate count.
New York, his firewall, is a proportional state.
The narrative of Trump being unstoppable is powerful but shortsighted. If Trump knocks out Kasich and Rubio, he faces an uphill battle overcoming his 13% head-to-head deficit with Cruz. Losing and keeping Kasich’s and Rubio’s hopes alive might be a blessing in disguise for Trump.