The Slatest

Cruz Easily Defeats Trump in Weekend Delegate Fight (Yet Again)

Sen. Ted Cruz campaigns at the Weinberg Theater on April 21, 2016 in Frederick, Maryland.  

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

It is starting to sound like a broken record. Weekend after weekend Ted Cruz is coming out as the victor of the Republican meetings across the country to pick delegates for the upcoming Republican National Convention. And this weekend was no exception as the Texas senator picked up at least 65 of the 94 delegates that were up for grabs on Saturday, according to Politico. The number could be even higher because the 25 delegates from Kentucky haven’t said who they support.

These delegates are important for something that may never actually happen: a second ballot. Most delegates have to vote according to the will of the voters in their state in the first ballot at the Convention, but can then switch if no one has the necessary delegates to win outright. Although the Trump campaign had vowed to carry out a more strategic campaign and start winning these insider contests, this weekend’s losses illustrate how the focus continues to be squarely on winning primaries.

Cruz was the clear winner in Maine on Saturday, when he gained 19 of the 20 delegate seats that were up for grabs. The biggest victory of the weekend was in Utah, where Cruz picked up 36 of the 37 delegates, although that is less surprising considering the Texas senator won the state caucuses by a landslide, obtaining 69 percent of the votes.

All this insider party fighting for delegates will become irrelevant if Trump manages to secure 1,237 delegates before the Cleveland convention. He currently has a commanding lead with 845 delegates to Cruz’s 559.

The Trump campaign continued complaining about the process to pick a candidate on Sunday as Donald Trump Jr. accused Cruz of bribing delegates in order to get them on his side. “Ted Cruz has no chance of winning this without bribing the delegates. That’s his game at this point,” Trump Jr. said. If his father wanted to bribe delegates he’d be really great at it: “He could send his private plane and send them down to Doral, they could play golf for a week and then we win that delegate. That’s not the way this country should be run.”