It might not matter after Tuesday, but the Texas senator continues to pile up second convention ballot delegates for a smashing comeback nomination victory, if he can get that far.
And what you would think would be confident Grand Canyon State Trumpers were in stereotypical full-whine mode at being out-hustled yet again:
Backers of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump accused the Arizona GOP convention of cheating after Texas Senator Ted Cruz pulled out a strategic victory Saturday.
i.e. Trump lost the delegate recruitment race yet again.
Cruz won virtually all of the twenty-eight at-large national delegates and roughly split the twenty-seven delegates selected by congressional district. Cruz’s Arizona campaign organizer says simple math led to the at-large victory. Cruz offered a nearly identical slate of candidates as John Kasich backers, and the combined votes led to a win.
State Treasurer Jeff DeWitt, who chairs Trump’s Arizona campaign, said a challenge is possible after calls for a revote were rejected by the party.
“The Trump campaign is very unhappy with the results,” DeWitt told reporters. “We don’t feel that this was a fair process. The Trump button got checked more than any other, so why do we have so few delegates?”
Because so few Republican delegates in Arizona actually support Donald Trump, that's why. The Cruz campaign's retort was short and to the point:
Constantin Querard, Cruz’s Arizona campaign chair, struck back against claims from DeWitt.
“They lost because of math, not because of malfeasance. If you take the people that want Cruz, and you add to them the people who don’t want Trump, that’s a majority in just about any room in America.”
Quite so. And yet it's Trump that is nearing the point of becoming presumptive nominee. Wanna run that "It's all rigged!" bleat by us again? I don't think it applies the way Trumpies think it does.
I don't understand why they're so bent out of shape, though. Isn't their demideity about to smash Cruz's hopes for good in the Hoosier State in forty-eight hours? Isn't he on a fortnightly winning streak? Who cares if TrusTed gets his supporters into State delegations across the country? They'll still have to vote for Trump on the first ballot in Cleveland, right? If he goes over 1,237 on the first go-round, there won't be any second ballot, and all the organization and ground game gambits will be for naught, correct? So what's the problem? Do they not think that Biff can pull it off? Or have they become so totally corrupted by their association with the New York liberal conman that they're as big a bunch of sore-losers as he is?
If I was Treasurer DeWitt and other top Trumpers, I would keep my mouth shut about challenging delegate credentials if I were them. Both because it makes the Trump campaign look even smaller, even pettier, and runs counter to its "It's already in the bag!" Narrative, and because it would open a can of worms it would be in his best interests to leave securely closed:
Even if Trump crosses the threshold to earn 1,237 bound delegates at the convention, Cruz may not be out of options. The Texas senator has been crushing Trump in the shadow fight for loyal convention delegates — delegates who could be free to vote their preference on a second ballot. It’s conceivable that a majority of the delegates at the convention in Cleveland will oppose Trump’s nomination, even if they’re bound to vote for him. In that scenario, that majority could unseat scores of Trump delegates, rewrite convention rules to eliminate any binding requirements and make it less likely — if not impossible — for Trump to claim the nomination.
This is generally known as the "Scorched Earth" or "Not No, But HELL No" option. One that, from Trump's perspective, need never be provoked. Heck, I prefer not to see that option provoked, as I've iterated and reiterated in this very space. After all, he's going to romp in Indiana and have the nomination in hand before California, right? Why would Trumplicans want to see that triumph put in jeopardy by their hero being an even worse winner than he is a loser, and pushing the #NeverTrump majority too far to where it is willing to, to build upon this metaphor....
...."fight fire with fire"?
If the pompadoured prince can reach 1,237, he should just shut his mouth and accept the nomination graciously - something of which, of course, he isn't capable, but should try to feign for the next two and a half months. Because otherwise, if there's a delegate-challenge war....
....Trump will have started it - and he will lose.
So will the GOP, of course, but Trumpmania has already guaranteed that.