Senator Ted Cruz may be technically out of the race, but he’s still working his ground game in several states.
While Cruz suggested earlier this week that he’d be open to jumping back into the race, should a path to victory become possible, that path may not be through the straightforward voting process, but rather, through the delegates on the convention floor in July.
While Donald Trump dispatches three advisers to Texas’s convention in Dallas this week and makes a pitch for party unity, his team will be running up against a Cruz operation that is still maneuvering to stuff the state’s delegation with allies the senator could call on to snub the presumptive nominee.
“We have a busy weekend planned,” said a source familiar with the Cruz campaign’s plans.
Senator Cruz will be speaking at the Texas convention and has dispatched Tyler Norris, his state director, to the Texas Republican convention, in order to rally delegates to his side.
Of the eight states choosing delegates this weekend, Cruz has teams in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Nevada, Arkansas, Florida, and Wisconsin.
In Nebraska, where Trump – running unopposed this week – still lost 40 percent of the vote, Cruz’s campaign chairman, state Sen. John Murante, told POLITICO that there’s still an element of hardcore support for Cruz among the state’s GOP leaders.
“There will be a time to unite behind the Republican nominee. The general election is light years away,” he said, noting that he may not decide whether to support Trump until October.
That seems to be a running theme, as some prominent Republicans have chosen to suck up their principle and support the presumptive nominee, others are not so quick to buckle under pressure and admit defeat.
Cruz’s team is working to install several dozen of his backers into the 155-member delegate count in Texas, knowing that Cruz has support in the area, in general. He won his home state decidedly in this year’s primary election.