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The Lid: Ted Cruz Now Has a Math Problem

Ben Carson argued Wednesday that Andrew Jackson should not be removed from the $20 bill, calling him "a tremendous president." Which, to be fair, actually makes Carson a more effective surrogate for a president who died in 1845 than he is for Donald Trump.

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'16 from 30,000

Ted Cruz has a math problem. Going back a few weeks, one of his chief arguments had been that John Kasich should end his White House run because it was mathematically impossible for the Ohio governor to secure 1237 delegates. But after last night's shellacking in New York, Cruz needs a whopping 98% of the remaining delegates to hit that number. Trump, comparatively, stills needs a hefty 57%, while Kasich needs 158%. The point was not lost on Kasich, who tweeted Wednesday: "Now that Cruz is now mathematically eliminated, the only diff between him and Kasich is Kasich can defeat Clinton."

Now that Cruz is almost certainly days away from mathematical elimination himself, he's aggressively arguing that it's going to be a contested convention. "Nobody's getting 1237," Cruz told NBC News while campaigning in Pennsylvania today. The Texas senator is essentially making the point that he's shown more capacity to win than Kasich, who has a paltry few delegates to his name and won just one state even as he continues hawking general election poll numbers that show him beating Hillary Clinton. The question for Cruz: With him and Kasich still stepping on each others' toes in the race, can the Stop Trump effort marshal enough force to definitely ensure that Trump doesn't make it across the finish line before July?

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

Donald Trump's new delegate strategy is taking root in Pennsylvania, NBC's Leigh Ann Caldwell reports.

After falling in New York, Ted Cruz told NBC News, "We're headed to a contested convention."

NBC's Hallie Jackson goes behind the ropeline at a Ted Cruz event.

And from First Read this AM: Stopping Trump and Clinton just got a lot harder.

FOR THE RECORD…

"I'm not pouring Baileys in my cereal. I'm not sitting here trying to find the Johnnie Walker. I mean, this is fun."

  • Reince Priebus, on the 2016 Republican race.

TOMORROW'S SKED

Hillary Clinton campaigns in Connecticut.

John Kasich and Bernie Sanders both campaign in Pennsylvania.

Ted Cruz is in Indiana and Maryland.