“I think [last Tuesday’s vote] spooked a lot of people,” says Jim Poolman, a North Dakota delegate who had previously committed to a first-ballot convention vote for Cruz. “But I want to be clear, I think the will of the people does mean something, as well,” he says. “Donald Trump has gotten a lot of support across the country, and just [last Tuesday], winning five [states] is one heckuva showing.” Poolman now says he will opt to see how the remaining primaries play out, and is “not necessarily” a first-ballot vote for Cruz.
He’s not alone. Of the ten North Dakota delegates on the Cruz slate reached by National Review, five express serious reservations about backing the Texas senator on that crucial first ballot.
“I have to admit I’ve been vacillating,” says David Hogue, a state senator and Cruz-approved delegate who insists he’s “firmly uncommitted.”
Hogue’s senate colleague Dick Dever is also getting cold feet. “What I have said is I’m leaning towards Cruz, but I’m not committed to anybody,” he says. “And after [Tuesday’s vote], I think Trump has the momentum going forward.” Dever was impressed by the way Trump broke fifty percent in all five of last Tuesday’s primaries, after relying on pluralities to propel him to victory in previous contests. And he finds it just as telling that Cruz lost to John Kasich in all but one of those contests. “I think that was a real shift,” he says.