Ted Cruz got crushed in Virginia on primary day, but even Donald Trump’s forces believe he’s about to stuff the state’s national convention delegation full of supporters anyway.
Virginia GOP insiders with knowledge of the state’s delegate selection process expect Cruz backers to overrun this Saturday’s state convention and use their numbers to guarantee that the 13 statewide delegates to the national convention lean Cruz.
“The Cruz campaign is mobilized in Virginia and they will likely dominate the convention floor on Friday and Saturday,” said a Virginia Republican central committee member familiar with the state convention process.
This primary season has been educational—not least in demonstrating that primaries are run by and for the political parties themselves. Shame on us for ever believing otherwise.
Trump earned about 35 percent of the vote in the state’s March 1 primary, edging Marco Rubio’s 32 percent and more than doubling Cruz’s 17 percent.
Cruz won one in six votes in the Virginia primary, yet stands to sweep the delegates. I’m not calling that illegal or even unfair—I’m even a Cruz guy—but it’s so cynical as to make a farce out of holding the election in the first place. Again, shame on us for believing in the integrity of the process. (The same may happen here in Mass, too, which Trump took with 49.6% to Cruz’s fourth-place 9.6%—though Trump forces are mobilizing here.)
All Trump does is win. So, what—him worry?
But Trump’s dominant position in the Republican primary after six straight blowout victories – from New York to this week’s sweep of Mid-Atlantic states – appears to have reordered the battle to secure delegates who would be loyal should the front-runner fail to clinch the nomination outright. So while Cruz’s mastery of the delegate selection process has given Trump’s team fits in the past, the response this time is a yawn.
“It takes a lot of the pressure off,” said Stewart, Trump’s Virginia director. “After [Tuesday] night, the campaign is convinced that we’re going to hit 1,237, so this will be a moot issue. There will be no second ballot.”
If Republican Party elders wonder out from under which rock Trump voters crawled, Plymouth Rock might be a good place to look. This sort of behavior might win you the battle, but lose you the war. And the Party. And the election.