Over the weekend, Ted Cruz claimed 18 of the delegates in North Dakota while Trump received the backing of one delegate (Trump’s delegate is “leaning” his way).
From The Blaze:
The hotly contested North Dakota GOP convention this weekend yielded an apparent victory for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz after his preferred delegate candidates won the majority of convention delegates available in the state.
With 18 of 25 slots in North Dakota declaring their favorability towards Cruz over Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Cruz seemed to cement a firm lead over his competitors, according to Politico. North Dakota, which selected 25 of its 28 Republican national delegates on Sunday, will be holding neither a primary nor a caucus in the 2016 presidential race. Thus, maintaining the delegates’ loyalty is a priority for the presidential candidates leading up to the 2016 Republican National Convention in July.
The weekend convention in the Peace Garden State marked an impressive accomplishment for Cruz’s organization. Although the delegates are unbound, he succeeded in doing something very unusual when he got 18 of his own hand-picked candidates — not all of whom are completely committed to him, but all of whom are strongly anti-Trump — elected as delegates. In doing so, he displaced several of the party-preferred delegates.
In the end, Cruz appears to have the allegiance of 20 out of the 25 selected on Sunday. Two others are the governor and his wife; two are unknown in their leanings; and only one of the state’s 28 delegates has publicly said he might back Trump — although he has said only that he’s “leaning” that way.
Trump’s campaign had talked some big talk about winning several delegates, but it turned out to be just talk. His last-minute endorsement by U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., who had worked behind the scenes on his behalf, turned out to be of little value in the delegate election.
A senior adviser for the Trump campaign, Barry Bennett, had called it “a huge win” for Trump before the North Dakota state convention. From NBC News:
Trump senior adviser Barry Bennett told NBC News that Cramer’s endorsement is “a huge win” for the campaign, and said he had “helped us immensely” to court delegates in North Dakota.
Cramer’s help, Bennett said, contributed to a slate of national delegates proposed by North Dakota GOP officials Saturday that the Trump campaign “loves.”
“We have seen the slate and we love it,” Bennett said. “If we play our cards right we could do very well” when the full convention votes on the slate of 25 proposed delegates on Sunday, he said.
Bennett said the Trump campaign could get close to half of the delegates when all is said and done, predicting they’ll have at least more than 10 delegates supportive of the candidate.
He wouldn’t name any specific supporters because most had communicated that they’d prefer to keep their support private, for fear of backlash from opponents.
But it was a good day for Trump in North Dakota.
“We’re popping champagne,” Bennett said.
The Trump campaign called it too soon since they clearly lost.
My informal breakdown:
2 Gov/First Lady
1 Trump/Kasich/highest bidder#NDGOP16
— Patrick Ruffini (@PatrickRuffini) April 3, 2016
In other words, Ted Cruz has won nearly every "unbound" delegate in North Dakota outright. Trump's team humiliated. https://t.co/zCPqXR5bcL
— Jeff B/DDHQ (@EsotericCD) April 3, 2016
It looks like Ted Cruz outsmarted successful businessman, Donald Trump, again.
What might be most telling about the direction the Trump campaign has been heading in is the following picture of the Trump table at the state convention:
Unmanned Trump table at North Dakota GOP convention. pic.twitter.com/BDIsWNI5va
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) April 3, 2016