"Trump's team still hasn't figured out this is trench warfare for delegates and that Trump better read the rule book and find a shovel." ~ Cruz campaign's dismissal of Trump's gestapo tactic accusation
“Donald, it ain’t stealing when the voters vote against you. It is the voters reclaiming this country. 65,000 people voted in the state of Colorado. They just didn’t vote for you. They voted for our campaign.” ~ Ted CruzOne can disagree with a particular state's system of collecting delegates, but there's nothing shady about a candidate who actually understands these systems from state to state throughout the primary process (even if it ticks off Trump supporters). Sure, the Colorado system is a bit more complex, and there's already talks within the state of returning to a more easily understandable primary system. Nonetheless, there was no cheating going on here. It simply is what it is, and the man with the effective ground game seized the moment!
Let's allow ourselves to step back from Trumpsteria, and take a moment to reasonably assess the process...
TheResurgent: Donald Trump is again complaining about the delegate rules of the Republican Party — delegate rules that have existed in various forms for 156 years. In fact, the present delegate rules have not really changed in decades, requiring that the nominee of the party get a majority of the delegates of the party to be the party’s nominee.Easy answer: We can't!
Donald Trump entered the race knowing he would need 1,237 delegates. But the man who claims he surrounds himself with experts and top men to advise him on things surrounded himself with advisors who told him not to worry about the delegates. Now Trump is having to bring in new people to play the delegate game, which is an acknowledgement that the rule for a majority will not be waived.
But along the way, both Trump and his supporters have taken to whining incessantly about the majority requirement. Publicly they think it should be changed to a plurality, though neither the delegate rules nor the Electoral College rules will be changed from majority to plurality.
Just because Donald Trump has the most delegates does not mean he has a majority of delegates. The rules matter.
That Trump has, for this long, surrounded himself with people who clearly failed to accurately advise him on the delegate rules is troubling. We know that Trump’s foreign affairs advisors are not really top men and, frankly, some are staggeringly unqualified. Likewise, we know Trump has barely met with them.
But these are the people he’d take advice from on foreign policy. Trump, though, says he has a very smart brain and he consults with himself. On Meet the Press yesterday, his campaign surrogate said it was Trump himself running the campaign — a campaign that ignored 156 years of needing delegates.
If Donald Trump cracks over a 156 year tradition of requiring a majority of delegates for the Republican nomination how is he going to understand the demands of the Presidency? If Trump claims he surrounds himself with top men and those top men advised him so poorly on the delegate issue, how can we be reassured he won’t make the same mistakes in a Presidential administration?
And the Trumpertantrum invariably will continue as Cruz returns throughout all the states winning over more unbound delegates with an amazing campaign team & a ground game to boot! Hey, it's not Cruz's fault if the other team can't figure out how to run a presidential campaign.
Despite the exaggerations and allegations, the rules have always been in play for gathering delegates. A candidate running for the office of the President of the United States should know that!
RedState: Donald Trump and his supporters have a message for the world: they are victims of cheating and stealing. That message will only amplify in the coming weeks and months, but it isn’t true.God help Ted Cruz to join the ranks of those esteemed presidents come this convention. And his chances are that much higher since he actually understands the rules!
Thanks to Trump’s tendency to hire the worst people, he has put forth virtually no effort in winning unbound delegate slots, nor has he bothered to get his supporters elected as bound delegates in the case that they become unbound. Oh, and Trump has ignored states like North Dakota and Colorado, which declined to hold primaries but instead chose delegates at their state conventions. In all of these scenarios, Ted Cruz continues to prevail.
Trump supporters allege that this is cheating. But cheating implies rule-breaking. Cruz’s superb campaign is actually being successful by understanding the rules and following them to the letter. And delegates can’t be stolen unless kidnapping becomes legal.
If no candidate captures the majority of delegates, which is 1237, the nomination process will head to the convention. After the first ballot votes are cast, almost all of the delegates will be unbound and can vote according to their personal preference.
A contested convention, contrary to what Trump and his supports claim, is not unfair. It is not subverting the will of “we the people.” In fact, Donald Trump has received just 37% of the votes cast (a plurality-more than anyone else-but not a majority), and many of those were from non-Republicans, perhaps liberals seeking a weak opponent for Hillary Clinton in November.
The entire purpose of a contested convention is to solve the problem that is created when no candidate gains majority support in the party. If the voters can’t coalesce behind one candidate, it is up to the delegates, who are strongly devoted to the principles and competitiveness of the party, to pick the best candidate. Undemocratic? Yes, but democracy has flaws as the Founders understood. And it should be noted that the Republican party is a private organization.
The GOP nomination process is not unlike the electoral college system that governs our general elections. If no candidate receives 270 electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the next president. Most people don’t know that because it is rare (it has happened three times: 1801, 1825, and 1877).
However, a contested GOP convention is not rare. The Republican Party has had 10 contested conventions, three of which involved the most acclaimed GOP presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan.
Related links: CBS News previews a convention fight for delegates, shows Trump getting outplayed by Cruz
Trumpertantrum still blaming GOP for Colorado loss by tweeting videos of ANGWY TRUMPERS
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “STEALING” DELEGATES
Rush Limbaugh: Ted Cruz isn’t cheating, he’s WINNING!
Cruz Expanding Donor Network
Cruz Can Unite The GOP, There Is No #NeverCruz
I’ll Stand With the Constitutional Conservative
ADDENDUM: Check out Levin's interview with congressman Ken Buck to get more insight into the Colorado process...
ADDENDUM II: Excellent explanation from Jim Geraghty of not only the Colorado process, but also why Trump has no one to blame but himself for a weak ground game!
NR: On March 1, the Colorado Republican party prepared for 60,000 voters to arrive at nearly 3,000 precinct-caucus sites across the state. Those voters would select men and women to attend the party’s county assemblies and congressional district conventions, in the the first step of a multi-part process that determined 34 of Colorado’s 37 delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.ADDENDUM III: And then there's this (not that it will make any difference to those pushing this mindless dribble)...
To hear Donald Trump and his fans tell it, those tens of thousands of Republicans never arrived, never made their choices, and never had the chance to play a role in selecting the party’s delegates. Matt Drudge, the populist Right’s news-aggregating provocateur, contends that Colorado Republicans were given less opportunity to vote than Iraqis. Perhaps, he muses, “George Bush has to invade Colorado to make it a democracy.”
And yet, in high-school cafeterias, churches, and other community centers, registered Republicans in the Centennial State got together and cast votes that March evening. Those they chose went on to county assemblies and district conventions. At the seven congressional district conventions, held the first week in April, the attending delegates selected three national delegates and three alternates who will head to Cleveland. At the county assemblies, held throughout March, attendees selected more than 600 people to compete for the 13 at-large delegate slots filled at the state convention this past weekend.
Trump’s tantrum on Twitter obscured the fact that eight of the elected alternates said they would support him if given an opportunity to vote in Cleveland. But the story of Colorado is similar to the story that has played itself out in several other states this cycle: Ted Cruz and his campaign read the rules beforehand, organized to ensure their people packed the local conventions, and emerged victorious.
Quite a few Trump fans are insisting this morning that by having Colorado Republicans vote for delegates to subsequent conventions, the state party denied them a say in selecting the party’s presidential nominee. But most candidates for delegate were open about whom they supported. Cruz’s campaign set out to make sure its supporters showed up and voted for friendly delegates. Why was it so impossible for Trump’s campaign to do the same?
Team Trump had ample opportunity to prepare for this eventuality. The state party’s rules were adopted all the way back in September and posted online. The Colorado GOP went out of its way to help the public understand the process, publishing simplified question-and-answer fact sheets on its website. Colorado media extensively covered how the caucus process works and what people needed to do to participate.
Despite all that advanced warning, Trump’s campaign assumed he was invincible, and failed to organize at local and state conventions. Now, faced with the unpleasant reality of their tactical blunders, Trump and his team are reduced to arguing that any unfavorable outcome is a triumph of underhanded “Gestapo tactics.”
Related link: Cruz on Colorado win: 'Donald, it ain't stealing when the voters vote against you'