Ted Cruz racked up another big delegate win, this time in Wyoming.
Cruz won 14 of 14 Republican National Convention delegates up for grabs at the Wyoming state convention here Saturday.
The crowd here was clearly in Cruz’s corner, as the Texas senator was the only candidate to make the trip to Casper — ahead of a major snowstorm — and Sarah Palin, scheduled to speak for Trump, previously canceled.
“If you don’t want to see Donald Trump as the nominee, if you don’t want to hand the general (election) to Hillary Clinton, which is what a Trump nomination does, then I ask you to please support the men and women on this slate,” Cruz said, holding up a piece of paper of 14 recommended delegates.
Twelve members of that slate won. They are bound to the senator on the first ballot and have also made a non-binding pledge to stick with him as long as things go in Cleveland.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 16, 2016
This adds to Cruz’s prior delegate pick ups in Wyoming.
Cruz won the March 12 caucuses. The Texas senator got 66 percent of the vote, followed by former candidate Marco Rubio at 20 percent and Donald Trump with 7 percent.
The final Wyoming delegate total is Cruz, 23; Trump, 1; Rubio, 1; and one uncommitted. The three Republican National Committee members go to the convention as unpledged to any candidate.
Trump could have tried to compete, but didn’t. As in Colorado, Cruz actually showed up:
Expect Team Trump and Trumpmedia to cry “Theft!” and “Cheating!” and “Voterless!” in 3, 2, …
So far, I’ve yet to hear Trump offer to return some of the delegates he won beyond his vote percentage in winner-take-all states. When the rules are unfair in favor of Trump, it’s okay; when the rules are unfair to Trump’s detriment, it’s “rigged.”
While Trump certainly will pick up a significant number of delegates in the NY primary this Tuesday, wins by Cruz in places like Colorado and Wyoming make it imperative that Trump come close to sweeping NY:
While Trump has won 21 state nominating contests to Cruz’s 10, the billionaire leads the Texas senator by only 196 delegates (755-559). That means he must win nearly 60 percent of those remaining before the party’s political convention in July.
Cruz also is fighting the ground war to get commitments on the second ballot from delegates won by Marco Rubio and other candidates who have suspended their campaigns:
It was a different story in Virginia’s 10th Congressional district. Both the Cruz and Trump camps ran slates of national-delegate candidates who pledged their support on the second vote in Cleveland. While the district had voted for Sen. Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican’s subsequent collapse left the convention open to conservative activists and reluctant anti-Trump voters, disappointed in the remaining choices.
William E. Wilkin, a history teacher at the high school that was hosting the convention, voiced the frustration of many Republicans who have watched their candidates fall one by one during a nasty primary season.
His allegiance has shifted from Carly Fiorina to Rubio to, now, Cruz, Wilkin said during his campaign speech to be a national delegate…..
Wilkin missed out on a delegate slot, while Cruz endorser and state Sen. Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun) won. Black, who has a formidable political operation in Loudoun County, also worked to ensure that the conference was stacked with Cruz supporters. An ultraconservative who is often at odds with the state Republican Party establishment, Black marveled at the level of enthusiasm for Trump or Cruz in a congressional district that Rubio won handily during the state’s primary election in March.
Cruz also is gaining delegate commitments elsewhere for the second ballot:
In South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, carried narrowly by Trump in February’s primary, Cruz supporters won three delegate slots. In Georgia, early results from the state’s 14 congressional districts showed that Cruz had succeeded in picking up delegates in corners of the state that Trump won in the primary. Across the state, Republicans began meeting at 10 a.m., and some gatherings stretched until midafternoon as Trump and Cruz supporters clashed over the credentials of people seeking delegate seats.
Georgia’s 11th Congressional District perhaps best embodied Trump’s struggles on Saturday. He won the district with 35 percent of the vote, so he will get two of the district’s votes in the first round of balloting at the convention, and Rubio will get the other. But two Cruz supporters — his Georgia chairman, Scott Johnson, and former congressman Robert Barr — won two of the three delegate slots.
In the first round of balloting in Cleveland, Georgia Republicans will cast 42 votes for Trump, 18 for Cruz and 16 for Rubio, who has exited the race. If there are subsequent rounds, Cruz supporters required to vote for Trump could switch to the U.S. senator from Texas.
This all makes a difference because the battle now is to keep Trump from 1237. If that happens, and Trump can’t win on the first ballot, it’s lights out for him.
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