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The “hate mail” from Trumpians will be thick, as I explain what I have been saying for some time. Cruz has the best strategy among GOP contenders, and will likely win the nomination because of it.

This is NOT an endorsement of Cruz, as I have chosen not to endorse a candidate. Unlike the candidates, I have promised to support the GOP nominee no matter what, and I will abide by my promise.

This message sent to me by email, and it does a pretty good job of explaining the GOP delegate process and why I say that Cruz is best positioned to win. The author begins,

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.

This has been explained by many, so no real news here. Delegates are bound in the first round (this differs for some states). The author continues

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.

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.

The distinction here is the ground game, and knowing the rules, moreso than it should be a condemnation of the GOP. There are those who say this is a coziness between the GOP, who they say abhors Trump, and Cruz, whom many would say they equally abhor. I disagree. If anything, it’s the GOP’s recognition that one team takes the process seriously, and the other does not.

As the author notes,

Cruz has also gotten good results at state and local conventions in states that do hold a presidential preference vote. In fact, considering that relatively 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 and South 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.

The quandary for Trump supporter is this. If Trump is such a good businessman, able to negotiate the best deals and see the fine print, why is he so pathetic in understanding the game of the GOP, rules publicly available to all candidates?

It was Red Adair who said, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, just wait till you hire an amateur.”

Trump benefited from a bloated field, and his message was on point. He showed some promise as the attrition occurred, defying the odds and the naysayers as he gained some momentum.

However Trump failed to slam the door shut when he had quite a few opportunities. As the topics have broadened from illegal immigration and Muslim refugees, Trump stumbled…big time.

Trump’s take on women and abortion was handled with the grace of an ice-skating hippo, his attack on Cruz’s wife didn’t help. War on Woman 1, Trump 0.

Cruz has been there to pick up the pieces almost every time, and that’s because he’s running a real campaign. His campaign has a strategy, state by state, delegate by delegate. Curz is the kid who memorized the Constitution by the age of 13.

Cruz is stoic, stilted, mechanical and perhaps methodical to a fault. In this case, it’s working for him. He’s a detail guy, where Trump flies by the seat of his pants.

Trumpians have a lot to love about their Manhattan-based warrior, but they can’t have it both ways. Is Donald Trump a dragonslayer or not?


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