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Reality Check: Math doesn't add up in GOP presidential ads

Reality Check: Math doesn't add up in GOP presidential ads

MADISON, Wis. - Two third-party groups say they're using math to show who is most likely to win the GOP nomination and the general election.

News 3 finds in both cases the math does not completely add up.

"A vote for Ted Cruz is a vote for Hillary Clinton because every poll shows John Kasich is the only one who can beat Hillary Clinton," one ad says.

News 3 finds this is misleading. Every poll done across the country has not shown this, but most done recently have.

Real Clear Politics, which averages polls from across the country, showed Clinton leading Kasich heavily through most of last summer. But this year he's led her in nearly every poll.

"Kasich wins," the ad says. "Ten points more likely than Cruz, 15 points more likely than Trump."

News 3 finds this needs clarification.

According to Real Clear Politics polling averages, Kasich currently beats Clinton by 6.5 points, Cruz loses to Clinton by 2.9 points and Trump loses to Clinton by 11.2 points.

Those numbers are similar for Huffington Post Politics, who the ad cites.

The group paying for this ad, New Day Independent Media Committee, is a super PAC supporting Kasich.

Another ad citing math is paid for by the national conservative political group Club for Growth, who is now supporting Cruz.

"If you don't want Donald Trump to win, your choice comes down to this: math," the ad says. "Only Ted Cruz can beat Donald Trump. John Kasich can't do it. The math won't work."

News 3 finds this needs clarification.

The current delegate totals show Trump with 736 delegates, Cruz with 463 and Kasich with 143. Kasich can't win enough delegates to win the nomination outright and he'd have to win nearly all of the delegates remaining to beat Trump.

But that's not Kasich's plan. He's been saying if he keeps running it will help prevent Trump from getting to 1,237 delegates total to get the nomination, and he believes he can beat Trump at a contested convention.

"A vote for Kasich actually helps Trump by dividing the opposition," the ad says, while showing Kasich's delegates jumping into the Cruz column.

News 3 finds this part of the ad misleading.

First, delegates pledged to Kasich will still vote for Kasich at the convention under convention rules, not go to Cruz as you see in the ad's graphic. Secondly, it's not clear that if Kasich dropped out that all his votes would go to Cruz. Even then, Cruz would have to win nearly 90 percent of the remaining delegates to get enough to win the nomination.

The bottom line is that trump still has a commanding lead of delegates, but it may be difficult for any of these three candidates to get enough to win the nomination outright.

If you have an idea or a question for a Reality Check, send it to us at realitycheck@channel3000.com.

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