Donald Trump beat Ted Cruz by 3.6% points in Louisiana’s March 5 primary election. Both candidates were awarded 18 delegates.

delegate lousiana ted cruz donald trump change

But that could change.

According to Reid Epstein of the Wall Street Journal, Cruz could pick up as many as ten more delegates in the swamp state.

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.

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.

So where do these ten delegates come from? Rubio’s handful of delegates are expected to throw their support behind Senator Cruz along with Louisiana’s five unbound delegates.

Further complicating the matter for Trump, none of his delegates were selected for convention committees.

The second step in the process is for those delegates to decide who will represent Louisiana on the three important convention committees— rules, credentials and the party platform. To make those choices, most of Louisiana’s delegates gathered at a March 12 state convention to elect two members to each panel.

No Trump backers won any of those slots. Five of the six committee members chosen back Mr. Cruz, and the sixth is uncommitted to a presidential candidate. Louisiana is the first state to name delegates to serve on the three committees.

Those panels would become critical in a contested convention, which would take place if no candidate wins a majority of delegates on the first ballot. The rules panel will determine which candidates are eligible to be nominated for president, the platform panel will write the party’s agenda, and the credentials panel will mediate disputes about which delegates can be seated. Such fights are already taking place in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, and may happen as well elsewhere.

Conspiracy? Hardly. Simply a product of Cruz’s solid campaign ground game who’s done their due diligence with state party officials. Trump’s outsider appeal has successfully brought many previously non-politically active citizens into the fold, but his campaign infrastructure never created a mechanism to educate the newbies.

Upon hearing Cruz might end up more delegates, Trump threatened to sue. Naturally.


Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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