The knee-jerk reaction after last night's Super Tuesday outcome was to name Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas the Great Canadian Hope for "true conservatives" to take back the ship from that hostage-holding pirate, Donald Trump. But a closer look at the delegate math might suggest that all of last night's GOP contestants should stay in the race for the long haul, until Cleveland, in order to prevent Trump from winning the Republican nomination for president. This stay in the race strategy is especially true for Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, whose states hold winner-take-all primaries in the coming weeks. Neither of them are hard-pressed for cash, and each want Trump to stay out of the White House.
No learning curve here. John Kasich is ready. pic.twitter.com/xJlrRO3hpf— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) March 2, 2016 Between Florida and Ohio, 165 delegates are at stake. And if both hometown pol's were able to capture a 'W' for the growing anti-Trump bloc, that would steadily keep the math in favor of the "anyone but Trump" camp. Here's how the race stands right now: Trump: 319 delegates Everyone else: 376 delegates No one left in the Republican field has a distinct advantage over Donald Trump by themselves. But if they galvanize the conservative base separately for long enough, they just may be able to push the race all the way to Cleveland collectively. And that is exactly the kind of outside-the-box conservatives need after a worst-case scenario Super Tuesday that left Rubio's establishment-endowed campaign sitting in third place across much of the map where he figured to place second (or even first) in a toe-to-toe fight with Trump. But with Rubio himself being such a square, how can anti-Trump Republicans use an outside-the-box approach? Every strategy thus far has failed them, and the smart money is already on Trump to win the nomination to the tune of 8-1. Either way, everyone's calendar must have a big red circle around Jun. 7, when California voters head to the polls. With its 172 delegates at stake, it looks to be one of two things -- Trump's victory lap, or his pitfall with a re-energized Good Ole Party ready to settle the dust once and for all at Cleveland. Briefing is a GateHouse Media property. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/briefing_2016and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/briefing2016, or visit our website at http://elections.gatehousemedia.com/national/todaystopics.