Donald Trump has won more votes and carried more states than any Republican. Still, he stands a fair chance of losing the GOP nomination because up to now he largely ignored one of the most rudimentary aspects of a presidential run: securing loyal delegates.
In state after state in recent weeks, the Cruz campaign has trounced Trump in those battles, building on work to identify and organize supporters that Cruz began months ago. Those successes are improving Cruz's odds of emerging as the Republican nominee if Trump falls short of winning a majority of delegates.
“You have to think of this whole process as having two different tracks to it. There's the primary process — that's about winning and allocating delegates,” said Ben Ginsberg, a veteran Republican election lawyer.
But “the story that will really be more important to what happens in Cleveland,” he said, “is the delegate-selection track. They're two connected but separate skill sets.”At NBC, Benjy Sarlin reports on Colorado:
Cruz took all 13 of the delegates up for grabs on Saturday to complete a clean sweep of the state. Delegates endorsed by his campaign swept all seven Congressional District conventions held over the last week as well, which added another 21 delegates. Another three slots are reserved for state party officials.
"Today was another resounding victory for conservatives, Republicans, and Americans who care about the future of our country," the Cruz campaign said in a statement Saturday night.
On Saturday, Trump backers passed out flyers at the convention site with official campaign slate of 13 delegates and 13 alternates accompanied by their three-digit number position on the 600-plus person ballot. Seven of the names, however, directed people to the wrong number and one delegate's name was misspelled. Other candidates did not have errors on their slates.
In one case, an erroneous number corresponded with a Cruz supporter. A second flyer handed out by the Trump campaign contained four mismatched names and numbers.Newsmax reports on weird comments from Trump's convention manager:
Among the names listed incorrectly on both flyers: Becky Mizel.
It was the second major error concerning campaign materials this week. On Thursday, a Trump slate of three names in the 7th Congressional District convention contained two that weren't listed on the ballot. The campaign's state director, Patrick Davis, said they failed to pay the necessary fees to qualify.
In an appearance Sunday on "Meet the Press," Manafort was asked about his longtime friend Roger Stone's quote last week that if Cruz tries to sway Trump delegates on a second vote at the GOP convention this summer he was prepared to "disclose the hotels and the room numbers of those delegates who are directly involved."
But Manafort told "Meet the Press" it is Cruz's campaign that is using dirty tricks.
"It's not my style. It's not Donald Trump's style," Manfort said. "But it is Ted Cruz's style."
He wasn't specific on the tactics he was alleging, but did repeat moderator Chuck Todd's word "threatening," before adding, "You go to his county conventions and you see the Gastapo tactics."