Supporters react as U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, U.S. April 25, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
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Trump too was traveling the primary landscape in an intensifying effort to surpass the threshold of 1,237 delegates needed to lock down the role of 2016 Republican flag bearer.But his rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich controversially have joined forces to thwart the frontrunner, unveiling a late ploy that allows them to essentially go one on one against Trump in key upcoming states. According to a recent CBS poll, Trump leads Indiana with 40 percent of likely Republican voters, compared to 35 percent for Cruz and 20 percent for Kasich.Cruz in particular has been successfully maneuvering in state party conventions to have individuals named to delegate slots who, though bound to Trump on the first ballot, would be sympathetic to Cruz in subsequent rounds when they are free to vote for whomever they choose.Cruz is almost as unpopular with the party's establishment as Trump, and Kasich has refused to bow out even though he has only won his home state of Ohio.Cruz, perhaps emboldened by the prospect of stopping Trump, has already begun searching for possible vice presidential options.Trump is favored to win all five states Tuesday, while Sanders, whose grass-roots campaign has done well against the Clinton juggernaut, is seen as mounting a last-gasp effort.
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