Texas Senator Ted Cruz swept up all the delegates at another state Republican convention. On Saturday afternoon, April 16, 2016, Cruz wrapped up and won all of Wyoming’s 14 delegates up for grabs at their state convention. The sweep comes after Cruz won nine delegates after Wyoming’s county conventions. Cruz now has 24 out of the conservative state’s 29 delegates. Front-runner Donald Trump has one delegate, Florida Senator Marco Rubio has another, and the remaining three are uncommitted. Cruz also racked seven of the 14 alternates; the remaining are uncommitted.
After the Wyoming GOP convention awarded Cruz all the delegates available at the convention, the Texas Senator issued a statement. Cruz said, “We had a tremendous show of grassroots support that resulted in a critical victory at today’s Wyoming Republican Convention. The victory continues a momentum shift that started in Utah and carried through Wisconsin, North Dakota and Colorado. Grassroots are rising up.” Cruz won many of the western states. Of Cruz’s list of 14 delegates, 12 won.
Cruz’s success is partially attributed to his campaign organization at the local level; he was the only GOP candidate to campaign actively in Casper and courted the party insiders in the state. Cruz said at the convention, “If you don’t want to see Donald Trump as the nominee, if you don’t want to hand the general (election) to Hillary Clinton, which is what a Trump nomination does, then I ask you to please support the men and women on this slate.” The Cruz campaign ran a full slate of 14 delegates while Trump only had six running. In another contrast, Trump only had local volunteers campaigning at the convention after former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had to withdraw her appearance.
So far, the large GOP field has narrowed down to front-runner Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. The GOP establishment has been doing anything possible to block Trump from the nomination, mostly because of his offensive comments towards women, minorities, and other groups and other missteps that show a lack of knowledge on important policy issues. Most of the establishment and party leaders are lining up and now supporting Trump’s primary opponent Texas Senator Ted Cruz hoping to force a contested convention.
Trump has been angry at the nominating system and RNC since his dramatic loss at the Colorado Republican Party convention on Saturday, April 9 at the hands of the party’s leaders. Trump has been criticizing about the “unfair” and “corrupt” nominating process that has been making it difficult for him to clinch the magic number of delegates. He continued his weeklong campaign speaking in New York on Saturday. At a rally in Syracuse, Trump again complained, “The system is rigged.”
Trump appeared on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” on Saturday morning explaining why he was not campaign in the state, and berating their unfair system. Trump said, “I don’t want to waste millions of dollars going out to Wyoming many months before to wine and dine and to essentially pay off all these people because a lot of it’s a pay-off. You understand that, they treat ’em, they take ’em to dinner, they get ’em hotels. I mean the whole thing’s a big pay-off, has nothing to do with democracy.”
Matt Micheli, the state GOP chairman spoke out against Trump’s comments. Micheli said the system was fair, “Absolutely untrue, absolutely not. This is a process that we’ve done for 40 years. This is a process that people here are being elected by their peers.”
The opposition to Trump has been successful; Cruz has been racking primary wins recently by wide margins, because of the party’s support and grabbing up delegates. Cruz has proved a formidable threat with the backing of conservative and evangelical leaders and voters, but he could never win enough delegates in the remaining contests and could only win the nomination at a contested convention.
Cruz and the GOP establishment’s anti-Trump campaign and the “Never Trump movement” are making it more difficult for the embattled frontrunner. According to the Associated Press’ latest count, Trump has 744 delegates while, Cruz has 559 delegates, still a nearly 200 delegate deficit; 1237 delegates are needed to clinch the nomination.