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Kasich adviser: coordinating with Cruz camp to thwart Trump could work in California

Charlie Black, a top Kasich adviser, explained to PBS NewsHour how the Cruz-Kasich alliance could play out in California, the biggest delegate prize left. Video by PBS NewsHour

How the Cruz-Kasich alliance could work in California

The Ted Cruz-John Kasich alliance to try to deny Donald Trump a first-ballot nomination could include the biggest remaining delegate prize: California.

Charlie Black, a top Kasich adviser, told PBS NewsHour in an exclusive interview, the sort of coordination between the two candidates — whereby the Kasich campaign is stepping aside in Indiana, where Cruz is stronger, and the Cruz campaign is giving way to Kasich in New Mexico and Oregon — is also possible within a single state.

“That’s not impossible, especially like in California, where it’s a huge state with all these big media markets,” Black said. “And there will be some markets where Kasich has a chance to do well … and some where Cruz might do better in the rural areas.”

READ MORE: Kasich says Cruz compact ‘not a big deal’

Polls now show Trump comfortably ahead of both Cruz and Kasich in California, which will allocate all three delegates in each congressional district to a candidate if he wins a majority of the vote in that district.

“If you … win the district or hold him under 50 percent, the other guys get delegates,” said Black, who stressed that no decisions have been made.

Black said the agreement between the Cruz and Kasich camps was not unusual in presidential politics, where campaigns have to carefully allocate resources. Both sides issued news releases to let outside groups and voters know.

“The campaigns are not allowed to communicate directly with” Super PACS, he said. “But if they don’t get the word, they’ll spend money in the wrong places. So we have to do that through the media.”

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