Indiana: The Establishment Strikes Back

FedUp PAC StaffJohn Kasich Ohio Governor

If there is any state in which the GOP establishment has demonstrated its ability to overrule the wishes of GOP voters, that state is Indiana.

Most observers believe that either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz will win the May 3 primary and that they will split the delegates between them. John Kasich seems unlikely to win even a single congressional district.

However, the delegates have already been chosen and the Indianapolis Star is among the media declaring that Kasich has more support than either Trump or Cruz.

How could this happen? Because the delegates are chosen by Indiana Republican Party leaders, not by caucus or primary voters. Contrast that with Colorado, where 65,000 Republicans turned out on March 1, selecting county convention delegates in the first step of their traditional process that ended in the April 9 state convention. Not a single Colorado delegate is an announced supporter of any establishment candidate. A similar process in Wyoming and North Dakota resulted in delegations that thoroughly rejected control by the establishment.

Among the states that have voted so far, only one primary (Ohio) and one caucus (Minnesota) produced a victory for an establishment candidate. That shows strong agreement among Republican voters that we need a candidate and a party that rejects the establishment policy of compromise, accommodation and surrender.

Fortunately, Indiana’s delegates will be required to vote for the primary winner of the state or their congressional district on the first ballot. However, they can switch to Kasich on what seems like a nearly certain second ballot.

While most of the delegates selected to date are pledged supporters of anti-establishment candidates, the majority are yet to be chosen. We are fortunate that state and district conventions will be the battlegrounds in most cases, with freely elected delegates making the decision rather than a tiny handful of party leaders.

But we can take nothing for granted. Indiana is a reminder that the establishment will use every bit of power it has. Even though state and district conventions up to this point have produced victories for anti-establishment candidates, those victories were the result of hard work and good organization. There is no guarantee that such victories will continue as the establishment learns from its mistakes and tries to take over the conventions.

If you are a delegate to an upcoming convention, be sure to attend and to support your candidate in every way. Debates over credentials and rules may be just as important as delegate selection.

Please fill out your Who Will Control the GOP Poll. Tell us who you think will win this contest for control of the Republican Party and its convention.