Ted Cruz has out-organized Donald Trump in Washington state delegate elections in recent weeks, which could help give Cruz a decisive edge if the Republican national convention this summer goes to a second nominating ballot.
Even if Donald Trump wins Washington’s presidential primary next month, he may walk away with a stash of disloyal delegates whose true allegiance lies with his chief rival for the Republican nomination, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Over the past few weeks, Cruz’s campaign has out-hustled Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich in a round of county and legislative-district meetings that elected 1,500 delegates to the state GOP convention.
As a result, the state Republican convention that convenes May 18 in Pasco is likely to be packed with Cruz supporters, allowing them to pick the bulk of the state’s 44 delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July.
That won’t matter much if Trump secures the 1,237 delegates needed for a majority on the first ballot at the national convention. Under party rules, Washington’s delegates will be bound on the first convention ballot by the results of the May 24 state primary.
But if Trump fails to capture the nomination on the initial vote, Washington’s delegates, like those from many other states, will become free to defect to the candidate of their choice. That’s when Cruz’s ground game could give him the edge.
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