Ted Cruz Declares Win in North Dakota Convention

Ted Cruz declared victory after the North Dakota Republican convention, saying he won a vast majority of the delegates. Since the state's representatives to the Republican National Convention in July are not bound to vote for any one candidate, however, this may prove a hollow win. It might suggest, however, that Cruz has a better organization and a better ability to propel his own supporters to the convention in July, a strength that will prove crucial in a contested convention.

The Texas senator may have benefitted from being the only candidate who actually attended the convention, as both frontrunner Donald Trump and John Kasich were campaigning in Wisconsin all weekend, preparing for the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday. Ben Carson campaigned for Trump in North Dakota, while former New Hampshire Senator Gordon Humphrey represented Kasich.

Of the 25 delegates chosen at the North Dakota convention, Cruz and his supporters counted 18 as his preferred candidates. Cruz declared victory in a statement Sunday evening:

I’m thrilled to have the vote of confidence of Republican voters in North Dakota who delivered such a resounding victory today. As I met them over the weekend, North Dakota Republicans recognized that I am the only candidate who can move this country forward by protecting freedom and liberty. Whether we defeat Donald Trump before the convention or at it, I’m energized to have the support of the vast majority of North Dakota delegates.

One-hundred five people ran to be delegates in the North Dakota convention, and the state party ranked 74 of them as suggested candidates.

Cruz's campaign released its own preferred list of 24 candidates for the GOP national convention.

When the 2,000 attendees to the North Dakota convention voted, 18 of the 25 selected were on Cruz's list. Only 11 of Cruz's picks had been ranked in the top 25 on the original list from the state party, giving him a 7 delegate pick-up.

Next Page: Cruz can't be sure they'll vote for him -- here's why.