Cruz Bags at Least 21 More Delegates in Colorado
Whatever you want to say against Ted Cruz, the excellence of his campaign operation is unarguable.
The Cruz team has stood head and shoulders above any other national campaign in either party and the Texas senator just might be rewarded with the nomination because of it.
The Cruz delegate wrangling operation literally ran rings around the Trump team in Colorado this weekend, giving the candidate 21 more delegates and a chance for more. This comes after another stellar performance by the Cruz team in North Dakota last weekend.
Slates loyal to Cruz won every assembly in Colorado's seven congressional districts, which began April 2 and culminated Friday with 12 delegates selected. The Texas senator is well-positioned to pad his total Saturday, when 13 more delegates will be chosen at Colorado Republicans' state convention.
Of Cruz's delegates, only 17 were formally pledged to him, and in theory the other four could change their vote in Cleveland. But they were all included on the senator's slates and are largely state party officials who said they were barred from signing a formal pledge for Cruz but have promised to back him in balloting at the convention.
The result shows how Cruz's superior organization has helped him as he tries to catch up with front-runner Donald Trump. While Cruz's campaign spent months recruiting slates of delegates and securing pledges, Trump only this week hired a Colorado state director. Two candidates Trump's campaign told backers to support in one district were not even on the ballot.
The Trump campaign said it wasn't worried and had always expected to fare poorly in Colorado because its assembly process is dominated by party insiders. "If we had a primary, yes, we would have done very well here," said Trump senior adviser Alan Cobb.
Cruz also appeals to Colorado Republican activists who dominate party functions — a deeply conservative, religious crowd with a libertarian streak.
"Coloradans, naturally having that pioneer spirit, gravitate toward someone like Cruz," said State Rep. Justin Everett, one of Cruz's pledged delegates.