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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    Trump flops in Arizona delegate fight

    Trump flops in Arizona delegate fight

    The GOP front-runner flashed more strength than ever in the shadow primary — but still suffered stinging defeats


    04/30/16 09:43 PM EDT

    Donald Trump's campaign got burned again Saturday in the hunt for loyal delegates to the Republican national convention — this time on turf where he'd recently trounced his rivals in primary elections.

    Though the mogul's campaign showed more muscle than ever in this shadow primary, he walked away in defeat in Arizona — losing about 40 of the 55 delegate slots that were up for grabs on the day.

    That's despite a dominant primary win there on March 22 and a furious attempt by supporters to guarantee the election of allies to the national convention.

    Instead, it was Ted Cruz who emerged with the bulk of support from the state's delegates. Though all of Arizona's delegates are bound to vote for Trump on the first vote at the national convention, most are likely to flip to Cruz if Trump is unable to clinch the nomination.

    And Cruz wasn't done racking up victories on Trump's turf. In Virginia, where Trump beat Cruz by a two-to-one margin in a March 1 primary, Cruz's forces captured at least 10 of the 13 delegates on the ballot.

    The Texas senator won 18 of 24 delegates in local Missouri conventions, even though Trump won that state on primary day as well.

    In all, Cruz won about 80 delegate slots on the day of the more than 170 up for grabs. Another handful went to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and even Marco Rubio — who dropped out of the race on March 15 — scored about seven supportive delegates. Another dozen haven't revealed who they support yet.

    It wasn't a totally lost day for Trump. The mogul scored strong victories in Massachusetts delegate fights and held his own in Arkansas and Alaska, showing an organizational strength that has escaped him in dozens of state and local delegate battles so far.

    On the day, Trump earned about 60 delegates, far fewer than the results of the state primaries and caucuses dictated, but enough to stave off catastrophe.

    Cruz's team is operating in a changing environment though. Trump has scored overpowering victories in the last six primaries and appears to be on a trajectory to clinch the nomination on a first ballot — when most convention delegates are bound to vote based on the results of state primaries and caucuses. That could render the hunt for loyal delegates meaningless, and Trump's allies have been dismissing the prospect of a contested convention in recent weeks.

    Yet if Trump fails to post large victories in the next round of primaries, Cruz's huge delegate hauls on what should be safe Trump turf limit Trump's ability to compete at a contested convention. With each delegate battle he loses, the mogul faces likelier odds of walking into a national convention where a majority of delegates opposes his nomination.

    Trump helped his cause most in Massachusetts, where a well-organized effort — aided by a cavalry of Trump supporters from New Hampshire — scored 23 of 27 delegate slots for the New York billionaire.

    Trump's campaign co-chairman there, state Rep. Geoff Diehl, said he hopes the effort becomes a model for Trump going forward, and has turned the tide against Cruz's delegate dominance.

    "I think that this not only stops the narrative that Ted Cruz could win on a second ballot ... but it also shows that Massachusetts Republicans were certainly galvanized to go in the other direction and win delegate slots from the other campaigns instead," Diehl said in a phone interview. "That's a reflection of the galvanizing of republicans not just in Massachusetts but in the country."

    The Arizona loss, though, stung. Trump had earned about 14 of the state's 27 local delegates earlier in the day, a result that had his backers bullish about a strong overall haul from his southwestern stronghold. But At least a handful of those supporters also appeared on Ted Cruz's slate, raising questions about their loyalty.

    Gov. Doug Ducey also appeared on Trump's slate but is considered neutral in the contest.

    A last minute push by state party leaders to aid Trump's efforts fell flat, though, when the state convention selected 28 at-large delegates. There, Cruz forces helped push through 26 anti-Trump delegates.

    The rest of the day was a mixed bag for Trump, too.

    Delaware, where Trump won about 60 percent of the vote on Tuesday, picked a slate of 13 state party activists whose loyalty is uncertain as they're not tied to any particular candidate. In Arkansas, another strong Trump state, the mogul earned six delegates to Cruz's four and Marco Rubio's two. And in Alaska, where Cruz narrowly defeated Trump in March 1 caucuses, Cruz picked up 12 delegates to Trump's 11, while Rubio scored five.

    In South Carolina, where Trump won easily against a crowded field in February, none of the three delegates elected Saturday are supporters. Two are uncommitted, and one backs Cruz.

    One of the South Carolina delegates, Tyson Grinstead, said he leans toward backing John Kasich at the convention but noted that he's bound to back Trump on a first ballot. And he's not so sure the mogul won't clinch it immediately. Grinstead, a former political director for Sen. Lindsey Graham, said he won a narrow fight, beating out several "heavy hitters" — including Sally Atwater, the widow of legendary GOP strategist Lee Atwater.

    Sally Atwater told POLITICO she intends to pursue a statewide delegate slot but isn't sure yet who she'll support in the race. "I don't think the race would probably be like this if Lee was here," she said. "He knew what was going on all throughout the country. It wouldn't have taken him by surprise."


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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Trump will win the nomination through the voters and bound delegates on the first ballot. No silly group of Cruz delegates are going to be allowed to take our party down to defeat our cause to fix our country.

    People in these states where this is going on really need to ask these delegates: "What are thinking? What are you trying to do? What is your purpose?"

    We want to fix our country and there's only one person in the race who even wants to do this, let alone who is capable of doing it, and that is Donald Trump.

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