Cruz, Kasich form GOP alliance to block Trump from presidential nomination

The chants were "Dump Trump, dump Trump," at a rally at San Francisco State University Monday, organized by young Democrats and Bernie Sanders supporters.

Ironically, a significant number of Republicans are equally keen to see Donald Trump fail to reach the 1,237 delegates needed to win the Republican presidential nomination outright.

A new strategy announced Monday by the other two presidential candidates Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich made it clear they are willing to put aside their policy differences in order to coordinate an all-out effort to block Trump.

Cruz and Kasich said they've agreed to avoid campaigning in states where the other candidate has a chance of beating Trump. Cruz said he'll leave the more moderate states of Oregon and New Mexico to Kasich. Kasich agreed to leave Indiana to Cruz.

"I'm not going to tell anybody how to vote. But look, this is a matter of resources. We're running a national campaign and we want to apply our resources where we think it can be used most effectively," said Kasich on a campaign stop in Pennsylvania.

"It is big news today that John Kasich has decided to pull out of Indiana to give us a head to head contest with Donald Trump," said Cruz, who is in second place but has little chance of overtaking Trump's delegate lead in the remaining contests.

UC Berkeley political science professor Sean Gailmard says right now, the only path for Cruz and Kaisch to have any hope of winning is to stop Trump from getting the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination outright in a first ballot vote, and hoping that one of them can prevail in a second or third round vote at the national convention, when pledged delegates will be free to vote as they choose.

"This is basically do or die for  these campaigns, their backs are against the wall," Gailmard said, warning that the play could backfire.

Trump blasted his competitors, saying it was further proof of his claims that the Republican primary system is corrupt.

"If you collude in business or if you collude in the stock market, they put you in jail. But in politics because it is a rigged system, because it is a corrupt enterprise, in politics you are allowed to collude," Trump said.

"It could absolutely backfire on them and really help Trump because he's been hammering this theme that the system is rigged, the primary system is rigged," Gailmard said.

In order for the Cruz and Kasich deal to work, Gailmard said, Cruz supporters would have to vote for Kasich in Oregon and New Mexico, while Kasich supporters would have to vote for Cruz in Indiana.

That strategy would be easier if the two candidates had a lot in common in their policy positions, but they don't.

Gailmard said it could prove to be too difficult and too late for the Republicans to launch an effective anti-Trump strategy, and noted that the Cruz and Kasich campaigns were already beginning to back away Monday, saying they would not instruct their supporters to vote for any particular candidate.