After reading this article in politico about the fight between Sen. Cruz and Trump over delegates in the various states that have already voted, I’ve become convinced that Sen. Cruz will be the nominee. I know it seems like I’m going out on a limb here, or that this is just wishful thinking on my part, and that’s true to some extent. But I also have objective analysis that backs up my belief.
So, what’s my rationale for coming to this belief? It’s simple.
Based on calculations others have done, it’s highly unlikely that Trump will have 1237 delegates going into the convention, and therefore won’t win on the first ballot. Based on my understanding of the RNC’s delegate rules, most of the delegates will then be unbound, and thus free to vote for any candidate.
Then the central and all-important question becomes, who are these delegates, and who are they likely to vote for when they actually have the freedom to vote for their preferred candidate instead of the candidate they were forced to represent?
As it turns out, the RNC requires that anyone who runs to be a delegate must be a registered Republican prior to doing so.
Furthermore, in many states, the delegates are voted on in caucuses at state and local conventions, and these caucuses are open to registered republicans only.
For example, take Massachusetts. Trump dominated there, winning 22 delegates compared to just 4 for Cruz. However, MA was an open primary, which meant Democrats and independents could and did cross over and vote for Trump, which no doubt gave him many votes that Cruz didn’t get.
Well guess what? Those votes won’t be represented by any delegates at the conventions because democrats and independents aren’t allowed to select those delegates.
This means that many of the delegates chosen will be Cruz supporters, or at the very least anti-Trump people. So going into the convention, Trump will have those 22 delegates, but in reality a majority of them will likely favor Cruz over Trump even though they represent Trump, and would thus vote for Cruz on a second ballot at the convention.
This is a huge advantage for Cruz because as we’ve seen throughout the primaries, when only Republicans are allowed to vote, as they are in closed caucuses and primaries, Cruz almost always beats Trump, and often resoundingly.
I believe this will be replicated all over the country at the state and local conventions when delegates are selected.
Why? Two reasons:
1)Cruz has already proven he has a vastly superior ground game and inside organization compared to Trump. These party caucuses are just smaller versions of the statewide caucuses several states have already had, in which Cruz has dominated. This is a big advantage for Cruz.
2)The people who run to be delegates, as well as the people who vote for them at the conventions are often party insiders and state/local party officials, who have already proven to be far more loyal to Cruz than to Trump. This means that in most states, even many of the ones Trump won easily, the delegates won’t be a good representation of the voters they represent. In fact it’s likely that they’ll reflect the opposite, which is the anti-Trump voters.
How do we know this? Because they’re already telling us they won’t vote for Trump on a second ballot:
“In one of the starkest examples of Trump’s lack of support, out of the 168 Republican National Committee members — each of whom doubles as a convention delegate — only one publicly supports Trump, and she knows of only a handful of others who support him privately.
Meanwhile, Ted Cruz has been whipping Trump in the quiet, early race to elect his own loyalists to become delegates to the convention, meaning that the Texas senator could triumph through delegates who are freed to vote their own preferences on a second ballot, regardless of who won their state.
“As far as the stealing of the Trump nomination, that’s a big concern for everybody,” said Diana Orrock, the RNC committeewoman from Nevada and the only one of 112 committeemen and women who openly supports Trump. None of the nation’s 56 state and territory GOP chairmen, also convention delegates, have endorsed Trump either. They are subjected to a mix of state-based rules as far as their obligation to back Trump on the first vote.”
The implications of this are YUGE. It means that going into the convention, Sen. Cruz will actually have more delegates who are loyal to him than Trump has loyal to him, even though on paper Trump will have won more delegates overall.
This matters because the number of loyal delegates won’t show up on paper and thus won’t be reflected on the first ballot at the convention, but will be reflected on the second ballot, when they can vote for their preferred candidate, which will be Sen. Cruz.
But don’t take it from me, take it from the experts over at the 538 blog, who certainly aren’t biased in favor of Cruz. They strongly believe like me, that if Trump doesn’t win on the first ballot, he won’t be the nominee.
Now, nothing is set in stone, and it’d be foolish for me to say anything’s certain in this crazy election year. Trump could dominate on the east coast, win California, and get to 1237. Or he could come up just short and convince just enough unbound delegates to vote for him on the second ballot. But I don’t see either of those things happening.
That’s why it’s so ironic that the main reason for Trump’s success up til this point, which is his perceived “outsider” status and his lack of an organization could, and I believe will be his downfall.
Turns out that in order to win an election and be a party’s nominee, you actually have to be friendly with party insiders at the state and local level and win them over.
Apparently Trump didn’t anticipate having to do that, or realize that it was necessary, which is more proof in my eyes that he never intended or expected to get this far in the first place, and that he ran for president primarily to build up his brand and boost his ego.
Well, the gig’s up, and he’s running into a hard brick wall of reality.
Let’s just hope it’s strong enough to hold up and derail the Trump train before it can gain a head of steam going into the convention. The future of the party and the country depends on it.