The weekend brought more fresh examples of how the organization of Ted Cruz has captured a delegate edge on Donald Trump in some states, as Cruz added more delegates in Minnesota and got his supporters elected to Trump delegate slots in Maine, raising the stakes for this week’s primaries in the race for the Republican nomination for President.
Cruz first added five new delegates in Minnesota, as the GOP formally elected delegates in three different Congressional districts on Saturday.
Minnesota was a state that had been won by Marco Rubio, but with Rubio now on the sidelines, Cruz forces moved in to fill those delegate slots with their own supporters, and with Rubio delegates who might help Cruz at the national convention.
Cruz also chalked up a win at the Maine GOP convention, where his backers were able to elect more of his supporters to delegate slots held by Trump.
In the original Maine Caucus, Cruz won 12 delegates to nine for Trump. But when it came time to elect the actual people as delegates, Cruz forces outworked Trump backers – who included the Governor of Maine – meaning that if the GOP race goes to a second ballot, Trump would lose delegates from Maine and other states.
The one delegate picked over the weekend in Maine who was not aligned with Cruz – that was Maine’s Governor Paul LePage.
The story was the same out in Utah. That was a state where Cruz swept to victory, but he still needed to make sure the delegates who were elected were his supporters.
Trump ready for big Tuesday
While Cruz won the weekend again, his prospects for the next round of primaries do not look very good in the polls, as Trump leads in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
The only real question is – can Cruz or John Kasich find a way to grab some delegates on Tuesday, to slow Trump’s drive to the GOP nomination.
Some prominent Republicans argue it’s time to forget about the Trump-Cruz battle, and rally around Trump as the GOP standard bearer:
Out on the stump, Trump has been focusing on the five states that vote Tuesday, going after Cruz the most.
Trump’s organization is also taking aim at Cruz – like this tweet from a top Trump aide, which seems to suggest taking more than just verbal shots at Cruz: