Posted: 9:45 pm Thursday, April 14th, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
For a third straight weekend, Ted Cruz will try to keep Donald Trump on the defensive in the fight over delegates to the Republican National Convention, as Cruz supporters in Wyoming will try to again cut into Trump’s overall delegate advantage in a state that has been largely ignored by the GOP leader.
Just as in North Dakota two weeks ago and Colorado last weekend, Ted Cruz will be the only candidate for President making his case in person – as he tries to take as many delegates as possible in the Equality State.
Instead of going to the Wyoming State GOP convention, Trump will be stumping for votes in New York, which votes next Tuesday. His campaign originally planned for a big name to stand-in for him in Wyoming, but that fell through:
As for Trump, he has been more focused on what went on last weekend in Colorado, instead of this weekend in Wyoming.
Biggest story in politics is now happening in the great State of Colorado where over one million people have been precluded from voting!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2016
And really, Wyoming is a good example of both the multi-step process to select delegates, and a good example of how the Cruz organization has totally eclipsed the work of Trump in some states.
Just over a month ago, Wyoming Republicans selected a dozen delegates in a series of county conventions – Cruz won 9, with one going each to Marco Rubio, Trump, and one was uncommitted
In this gathering at the Wyoming State GOP convention, the remaining 14 delegates will be handed out – as Cruz hopes to sweep as many of those as possible.
If you think Wyoming isn’t worth much at 26 delegates total – remember, that’s only four less than Iowa, which has 30 Republican delegates.
The 411 from the 307
It was sort of fitting that in the days before the Wyoming GOP convention, my phone twice rang with calls from area code 307.
One was a Wyoming rancher down the way from our family homestead, as he gave me the rundown on the lack of moisture of late.
The other call was from a distant relative who will be at the Wyoming GOP convention this weekend, hoping for a push by uncommitted state delegates, to give them more bargaining power at an open convention in Cleveland.
Asked about the Trump organization in Wyoming, the answer was a familiar one when it comes to delegates in smaller states – that Trump had supporters, but almost no organization.
Trump can still make up for it with big wins in the next two weeks back East, but for every New York, there has also been a Wyoming, Colorado and North Dakota – and they haven’t made Trump’s march to the Republican nomination any easier.
As for the delegate rules, the GOP put out this reminder on Friday morning, which seemed to be a message directly for Trump and his lack of delegate organization:
To: Interested Parties From: Sean Spicer, RNC Chief Strategist and Communications Director @seanspicer RE: Delegate Allocation And Selection Rules Date: April 15, 2016
On October 1 of last year, 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia submitted finalized plans for how delegates would be chosen for the Republican National Convention. These plans were promptly circulated to all of the campaigns and the RNC held a briefing with over 100 members of the media in attendance laying out these plans the next day on October 2.
As a party, we believe in the freedom of the states to make decisions about how they will select delegates to the National Convention. And for decades, this grassroots-driven, democratic process has been transparent and effective.
This cycle is no different.
The rules surrounding the delegate selection have been clearly laid out in every state and territory and while each state is different, each process is easy to understand for those willing to learn it.
It ultimately falls on the campaigns to be up to speed on these delegate rules. Campaigns have to know when absentee ballots are due, how long early voting lasts in certain states, or the deadlines for voter registration; the delegate rules are no different.
Whether delegates are awarded through a primary, caucus, or convention, this process is democracy in action and driven by grassroots voters across the country.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.