I think yesterday showed that it’s down to Trump and Big Ricky, especially since the latter was able to win a New England state that had a way bigger turnout than four and eight years ago, and even Trump’s two wins yesterday were ones where he had relatively narrow margins over Big Ricky. He’s even starting to catch up in the delegate count, 380-297 as I write this. There will be states where either Little Ricky or the Mailman’s Son will be the perceived second place horses, and the Not Trump Caucus will latch onto them. But for the most part, in most states, and nationally, the NTC will cynically latch onto Big Ricky, even though they no more want Big Ricky actually to win the nomination than they want Trump.
There is a fatal flaw in the NTC weaponizing Big Ricky that the NTC hasn’t thought through.
Most people who are voting for Ted Cruz are voting for Ted Cruz, not against Donald Trump. They’re lamestream conservative true believers who are siding with the most strident lamestream conservative true believer in American politics right now. And lamestream conservative true believers no more like the Republican Party establishment, and vice versa, than Trump-supporting populists and nationalists do, albeit for different reasons. Whatever can be said for the typical Cruz voter, can be said in spades for the kind of person that will be a Cruz delegate at the RNC in Cleveland in July. So, the NTC votes Cruz in order to give him more delegates just to keep Trump south of 1237. Do they think that, after the first ballot, when everyone has to cast their vote as legally required, that when the second ballot hits and everyone is a free agent, that Cruz delegates are going to side with whoever the establishment sock puppet is going to be, (bet on them trying to resurrect Jeb!), just to spite Trump? I could easily see half of Cruz’s delegates either willingly or easily being talked into voting Trump on the second ballot.