Up to 75% of Trump delegates may be Ted Cruz supporters



There has been one article after the other in the press how delegates who are pledged to Donald Trump may actually be Ted Cruz supporters. That's because in many states the allocation of delegates is divorced from the actual voting. Say Trump wins 50% of the delegates in South Carolina. The voters do not actually pick the delegates, the South Carolina Republican party does. It picks delegates who promise to vote for Trump, but only on the first ballot. So what many state parties are doing is picking delegates who will vote for Trump on the first ballot, but on the second ballot, when they are free, will vote for Ted Cruz.

To recap a bit, the Republican presidential voting process is separate from the delegate selection process in most states. In South Carolina, for instance, most delegates are selected through a series of county, congressional district and state conventions. Although those delegates are bound to Trump (who won the state’s primary on Feb. 20) on the first ballot, they could peel off and vote for another candidate after that.1

We know that Cruz is likely to do well among delegates chosen through state and local conventions because we’ve seen that demonstrated quite a few times already. This is most obvious in the three states — Colorado, Wyoming and North Dakota — where there was no presidential preference vote. Cruz won nine of the 12 delegates chosen at county conventions in Wyoming (Trump won one), and Cruz has gotten six of six picked so far at congressional district conventions in Colorado (more Colorado congressional districts will choose their delegates this week). In North Dakota, delegates are technically unbound, but Cruz got a highly favorable slate of delegates approved at the state convention on Sunday; only one or two delegates of the 25 chosen appear favorably disposed to Trump.

Cruz has also gotten good results at state and local conventions in states that do hold a presidential preference vote. In fact, considering thatrelatively few states have completed their convention process, it’s remarkable how many examples you can find of Cruz cleaning Trump’s clock: for example, in Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina andSouth Dakota.

The magic number is 75%--that's how many delegates, in total, are selected by state GOP parties, and not the actual candidates or voters themselves. That means that up to 75% of Donald Trump delegates could, theoretically, be Ted Cruz supporters. Even if the real number is 10% or 20%, that's a lot of delegates, and could be crucial to Cruz on a second or third ballot vote. And it goes without saying that theoretically "uncommitted" delegates are in practice strongly favored to support Cruz, for the same reasons.



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