GOP Presidential Candidates Debate In Detroit

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There's a growing movement of conservatives who want to stop Donald Trump from winning the Republican presidential nomination.

But, there's a big problem for the effort: three non-Trump candidates are still in the race. That means John Kasich, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz will be splitting votes and leaving Trump in a strong position.

Below is some information on which non-Trump candidate has the best shot in each of the five states voting on Tuesday.


The Buckeye State awards all 66 of its delegates to the candidate who gets the most votes. According to the latest polls, the candidate with the best shot at defeating Trump is John Kasich.

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Marco Rubio has already suggested his fans vote for Kasich in Ohio, and Cruz fans will want to consider the same if they want to keep Trump from picking up the delegates in that state.


The Sunshine State is also winner take all, with 99 delegates going to whoever wins on Tuesday.

Cruz and Rubio are polling closely in the state, with both significantly behind Trump.

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Florida voters looking to stop Trump would be ill-advised to vote for Kasich on Tuesday. They'll instead need to choose between Cruz and Rubio.

The home turf and prevalence of early voting suggest the smart choice is Rubio in Florida.


All 52 of the Show Me State's delegates are available on Tuesday if someone can capture a majority of the vote.

That's unlikely, in which case 12 delegates go to the winner statewide, with another 40 split between the eight congressional districts in the state.

CORAL GABLES, FL - MARCH 10: Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), along with Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (not seen) listen to the national anthem before the start of the CNN, Salem Media Group, The Washington Times Republican Presidential Primary Debate on the campus of the University of Miami on March 10, 2016 in Coral Gables, Florida. The candidates continue to campaign before the March 15th Florida primary. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

This is a strong state for Ted Cruz, as he picked up big wins in Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas, and the state is packed with evangelical voters. If you're a Kasich or Rubio fan who wants to stop Trump, your strong bet is with Cruz.


The Prairie State has 69 delegates at stake.

The candidate who takes the most votes statewide picks up 15 of those, with the other 54 divided between 18 congressional districts. There has been less polling in Illinois than voters would probably expect, but according to a analysis, the non-Trump candidate best positioned in Illinois is Cruz.

Rubio has been in decline in recent days, while Cruz and Kasich are trending up:

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Cruz has the best position, per 538:

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Rubio and Kasich voters will want to take notice, particularly with Cruz's prowess at turning out the vote.

North Carolina

The Tarheel State will award its 72 delegates on a proportional basis, so there's no need for strategic voting if you're a non-Trump supporter.

The higher the vote count for Rubio, Kasich and Cruz, the fewer delegates for Trump.

Deeper Look

To summarize:

For more on the thinking behind strategic voting, listen to the latest episode of TrailMix 2016, which is cohosted by the author of this article:

If you're in one of the five states listed above, go vote on Tuesday, no matter what your choice.

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