This story has been repeated so often now in states around the nation that it’s almost become the norm. Over the weekend, Arizona held their state GOP convention to select delegates to the big shindig in Cleveland and once again Ted Cruz managed to lock down all of the at large delegates and a fair share of the congressional district representatives by melding his nominees with those of John Kasich. Needless to say, there were more than a few people who were not happy. (Fox News)
Backers of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump accused the Arizona GOP convention of cheating after Texas Sen. Ted Cruz pulled out a strategic victory Saturday.
Cruz won virtually all of the 28 at-large national delegates and roughly split the 27 delegates selected by congressional district. Cruz’s Arizona campaign organizer says simple math led to the at-large victory. Cruz offered a nearly identical slate of candidates as John Kasich backers, and the combined votes led to a win.
State Treasurer Jeff DeWitt, who chairs Trump’s Arizona campaign, said a challenge is possible after calls for a revote were rejected by the party.
One rather high profile name wound up being left out in the cold… the former governor.
Former Gov. Jan Brewer lost her bid to become a delegate and said afterward that she was cheated.
“I got cheated,” Brewer told reporters. “And the people of Arizona got cheated.”
This is pretty much the same passion play we’ve seen on display in Colorado, North Dakota and elsewhere, but with one significant twist. There was an actual primary vote in Arizona on March 22. As you’ll recall, Trump took nearly half of the vote (47.1%) while Cruz managed just under a quarter of the total ballots cast. John Kasich fell below the threshold at 10%.
Complaints of “cheating” or the need for a new vote by the Trump camp will fail to change the course of events. The rules are the rules, even if the rules are sloppy and leading to serious unrest among the voters. (And here we have yet another reminder that if the Republicans of Arizona are embarrassed by this display, only they can change the system from within to be more representative next time around.)
Still, as all of the media reports of this convention were forced to admit, none of the sturm und drang surrounding the state convention may matter in the end. When these delegates arrive in Cleveland, even though most of them may support Cruz in their hearts, all of them will have their votes counted for Donald Trump on the first ballot. And if the Manhattan tycoon does as well in Indiana tomorrow as the most recent polls predict, there may not be a second ballot at the convention so the point will wind up being moot.