We all know that Donald Trump won the Louisiana primary.
As to delegates it was a tie. Right?
The Wall Street Journal reports that Cruz may walk away with as many as 10 more delegates than Trump:
Donald Trump beat Sen. Ted Cruz earlier this month in Louisiana’s Republican presidential primary by 3.6 percentage points, but the Texan may wind up with as many as 10 more delegates from the state than the businessman.
Mr. Cruz’s supporters also seized five of Louisiana’s six slots on the three powerful committees that will write the rules and platform at the Republican National Convention and mediate disputes over delegates’ eligibility this summer in Cleveland.
The little-noticed inside maneuvering that led to this outcome in Louisiana is another dramatic illustration of the inside game that could have an outsize influence on the bitter race for the GOP nomination. A similar process played out three weeks ago in Coweta County, Ga.
While Mr. Trump leads in winning primary and caucus elections, and has won more delegates, the Cruz campaign is proving superior at the arcane game of picking the people who will be the actual delegates to the convention, where they will help write the rules and ultimately choose the nominee.
The impact is beyond mere delegate account, WSJ notes:
That means that if Mr. Trump fails to reach the delegate threshold to claim the GOP nomination on the convention’s first ballot, committees dominated by Cruz supporters could work to block him from winning enough delegates to claim the nomination on any subsequent ballots.
Trump is not exactly sitting still. He’s working to shore up delegates to stick with him even after the first ballot, and to convince unbound delegates to vote for him, as NBC News reports, Revealed: Donald Trump’s Big Plan to Stop a Contested Republican Convention:
While Trump publicly dismisses talk of a battle in Cleveland, he is quietly assembling a team of seasoned operatives to manage a contested convention. Their strategy, NBC has learned, is to convert delegates in the crucial 40 days between the end of the primaries and the convention – while girding for a floor fight in Cleveland if necessary.
The outreach is already underway.
“We are talking to tons of delegates,” says Barry Bennett, a former Ben Carson campaign manager now leading the delegate strategy for Trump….
Bennett says the campaign has planned two distinct phases for winning in an open convention.
First, there is a window to lock down delegate commitments between the last primary on June 7 and the convention start on July 18.
“You’ve got 40 days between the last primary and the convention,” Bennett says, “to go woo the appropriate number of unbound delegates.” It’s a long time if the gap is small.
“You still have a chance to put together 50 or 75 delegates to win on the first ballot,” Bennett says, “that’s Phase One.”
The campaign could obtain signed, public commitments from those delegates in June — signaling to the rest of the party that Trump will be the nominee. Sources in the Trump campaign say this approach thwarts a key premise of the “Stop Trump” effort, which assumes a long floor fight if Trump finishes the primaries without a delegate majority.
The campaign believes, however, that it could line up those personal commitments from the remaining delegates. Then it would march into Cleveland with an orderly victory on the first ballot.
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