Republicans will vote in the closed New York Primary on Tuesday. Although it appears Donald Trump will win there, Ted Cruz is winning the long-term war over winning delegates.
While the Trump camp will continue to claim it is “stealing”, Cruz’s campaign is extraordinary when it comes to organization, and they are doing everything that is within the rules to win as many delegates as possible. In states like Colorado and Wyoming, Cruz didn’t “steal” those delegates, but he just outsmarted Trump, whose campaign does not have nearly the same level of knowledge and organization. Perhaps if he whined less and knew the delegate rules in each state more, he could perform better against Cruz.
He also continues to complain, still using the “Lyin’ Ted” argument, and thankfully Cruz finally had enough of it and told Trump what he thought on Twitter.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 17, 2016
Another reality is that this will very likely go to a contested convention. I used the math according to CNN’s estimate delegate count, and Trump would have to win the remaining 57.9% of all the delegates, which is unlikely with fewer candidates in the race. Cruz rightfully believes that a contested convention would be a huge advantage to the current runner-up, which is himself. For example, when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2012, he was able to force a run-off with his then-GOP front-runner rival David Dewhurst, since no candidate was able to obtain 50% of the vote in the primary. Typically in run-offs, there is a huge advantage for the runner-up, and that turned out to be the case when the polls switched by double digits in a matter of days in support for Cruz.
This is the same concept with a contested convention. When it gets to that point and the longer it spirals on, I think more support will go to Cruz, because it’s win or bust for Trump on the first ballot. Although he may be the current leader with the delegate count, the Cruz camp is set up phenomenally with their impeccable organization, knowledge of delegate rules, and the backing of a large grassroots operations.
Plus, the support of some Establishment politicians supporting Cruz doesn’t mean Cruz is Establishment himself. It simply means they know Trump is the worst candidate for the GOP and will do whatever it takes to stop him. I believe this anti-Trump momentum will not stop, but continue to grow, and with Cruz being less than 200 delegates behind, they acknowledge he is the best alternative to stop Trump.
The rules are the rules. Just because Trump doesn’t like the rules doesn’t mean Cruz is “stealing” delegates. It once again means Trump is being outsmarted and outplayed, and while he continues to whine and complain, Cruz continues to catch up and win this delegate war.