Sen. Ted Cruz is crushing Donald Trump’s delegate operation in yet another state, Missouri, according to well-placed party sources.
Trump’s operation to secure real supporters rather than notional ones to send to the July’s presidential nominating convention was caught napping and only activated in Missouri a week before delegate voting began. By the time the crucial delegate contests were over, the New York businessman found that the Texan tornado had left him in his dust.
It means, as with Cruz’s superior operations in Arizona, Arkansas and several other states, that Missouri delegates who must vote for Trump on the first ballot are really Cruz supporters who will defect if there is a second ballot and the Cleveland convention is contested.
Trump won the Missouri primary by a mere 0.2 percentage points, which meant he took 37 of the 52 delegates available. But party operatives say many of the 37 are likely to be under Cruz control and will abandon the New York businessman if he doesn’t win the nomination on the first ballot.
There are two lessons here. First, thousands of GOP voters were disenfranchised by the state GOP rules awarding Donald Trump 71% of the delegates when he only won 40% of the vote. Yet, you don’t hear any other campaign sniveling and whining about it. Second, Donald Trump attracts idiots. There is really no other explanation. Idiots exist on the national level, where, in the case of Paul Manafort, Trump has replaced the vicious niblet, Corey Lewandowski, with Paul Manafort, a man who has made a fortune off representing torturers, murderers, sadists, and now, Donald Trump. Manafort was brought in to prevent this kind of disaster. And it worked out well. Idiots exist on the local level:
Missouri Republican insiders, and even local Cruz supporters, are mildly surprised that Trump didn’t up his game in the state. His top grassroots advisor there, Valinda Freed, is the sitting vice chairman of the Missouri Republican Party. She and other Trump supporters aren’t novices or as unfamiliar with the delegate process as their counterparts in other states the campaign bungled.
“Most of the people who are bellyaching — they have caucused before,” Bev Ehlen, a top Cruz organizer and a co-chairman of his Missouri campaign, said in a telephone interview. “There might be a lot of Cruz people in Cleveland. They might have to vote for Trump the first time, but that will be all there is.”
The reason Paul Manafort was out over the weekend pushing the fantasy story that Trump will have 1237 delegates by the end of the primaries is to stop a wholesale collapse of his campaign because he has no path to victory on a second or subsequent ballot.