Trump has led polls in Ohio and Florida. If Trump beats Rubio and and Kasich there, not only does he win the state’s 165 delegates, but he likely knocks both candidates out of the race, leaving the race one between him and Cruz as the race moves to states less fertile for the Texan.
It’s also a strategy merely to deny Trump a majority of delegates. He’s still poised to go into the convention with more delegates and states won than any other candidate. If he were denied the nomination, the convention would be chaos, as he’d stir up his passionate supporters. It would have the look of the party elites overruling millions of voters, poisoning the well. And Trump would almost definitely run as an independent – even if it meant he’d have to run as a write-in candidate due to ballot access issues.
On the other hand, by denying him the nomination, Republicans would be taking a stand against Trumpism. And given the currently unquantifiable number of people promising to defect if Trump is the nominee – a list that already includes a sitting U.S. Senator – it seems a third party may be inevitable. So the only real question may be whether that manifests itself in conservatives heading for the exits to avoid nominee Trump. Or whether it comes after party regulars block Trump from hijacking the Republican Party.