How Ted Cruz is still fighting to influence the party's direction

According to a GOP source familiar with the Cruz campaign’s decision, staff will be on the ground in North Carolina and South Carolina, where 56 delegates will be selected. Some will even fan out next week when a dozen more states — including Cruz’s home state of Texas — pick their national delegates. It’s an effort, two Cruz sources told POLITICO, to pack the convention full of conservatives who can stand up to any attempt by Donald Trump to weaken conservative planks of the GOP platform or rework the rules that govern the presidential nomination process.

“It’s still important that we have a conservative convention … I think we would be doing Ted Cruz a disservice if we gave up that fight,” said Rob Uithoven, who helmed Cruz’s operation in western states. “It’ll be even more difficult now with the campaign suspended to try to get our [delegates] elected.”

Uithoven sent a letter Wednesday to the Cruz leadership teams in each of the western states he oversaw urging the delegates he helped elect to attend the national convention rather than cede the floor to Trump.

It’s not, however, about trying to take the nomination from Trump — and there won’t even be Cruz-specific delegates slates, according to one of the campaign sources. “It’s more about conservative/non-establishment folks having a voice in the upcoming rules and platform,” said the source, “especially since Trump has said he wants to change the platform.”