The parallel universe where Cruz is beating Trump

Texas GOP insiders say their home state senator is positioned to sweep the state’s enormous delegate haul. “I’d be very surprised if 155 out of the 155 weren’t for Cruz,” said Steve Munisteri, a former state party chairman who is unaligned. “I just don’t see how he doesn’t win all the delegates.”

In Missouri — a state Trump narrowly won — Cruz is poised to dominate local and state-level contests for 49 delegates. Insiders there say six of the state’s eight congressional districts, which award three delegates apiece, are tilted toward Cruz.

“At county caucuses, they were able to get more of their people in in many cases,” said Carl Bearden, who chaired Cruz’s campaign in Missouri. “Some Trump slates of delegates were elected as well. But overall it appears the Cruz camp has been able to motivate and activate supporters to come out to county caucuses to elect delegates to the next level of conventions.”

— In Iowa, where Cruz narrowly edged Trump on Feb. 1, a slate of 15 statewide delegates will include at least 11 Cruz backers, including Rep. Steve King, conservative leader Bob Vander Plaats and Cruz staffer Bryan English. The others – including Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa House Speaker Linda Upmeyer – aren’t exactly Trump loyalists, though Branstad has also been critical of Cruz. (Cruz already won 11 of Iowa’s 12 local delegate slots).