While the media continues to tout Donald Trump as the GOP “front-runner”, Ted Cruz has been busy around the nation winning where it counts – delegate elections.
On Monday evening, Republicans in South Carolina’s 4th Congressional district held their convention to elect district officers and delegates to the national GOP convention in Cleveland later this year.
District 4 includes all of Spartanburg and most of Greenville county. The District is allowed 3 delegates and 3 alternates to the national convention. Those allowed to vote in the delegate election are grassroots republicans who, in March of 2015 attended their bi-annual precinct reorganization meetings and were elected as delegates to their county convention, and who paid a fee to run and were elected at their county convention as delegates to the 2015 state convention.
National delegates are elected via a secret ballot with state delegates being allowed to vote for up to 6 names, with the top three vote earners getting the 3 delegates slots, and the next three being alternates.
Cruz swept all three spots. Stephen Brown, former Greenville GOP Chairman was the top voter earner and is a member of the Cruz State Leadership Committee. The second vote earner, Robert Ryggs of Spartanburg is the husband of LaDonna Ryggs who is a former Spartanburg GOP Chair and serves as the leader of the SC Cruz campaign. Getting the final delegate spot was Nate Leupp, 1st Vice Chair of the Greenville GOP who was a leader in the Jeb Bush campaign, but has since pledged his support for Ted Cruz and says that he will work to turn other former Bush supporters for Cruz at a contested convention.
SC delegates are bound to vote for Donald Trump, the winner of the SC GOP presidential preference primary on the first ballot at the national convention, but all three SC Dist 4 Delegates named above have pledged their support for Cruz should a second ballot be taken.
While Cruz had a strong and noticeable delegation of 4th District supporters and volunteers at the convention working over the room for their slate of delegates, Trump seemed to have few supporters present. Of the 30 people who ran as national delegates, only 3 were declared Trump supporters, and none were even elected as alternates to the national convention.
Cruz had already taken a lead in SC delegates at the 2 other district conventions which were held about a week ago. According to The State, of the 6 delegates then elected, 3 were Pro-Cruz, with 2 being undeclared and only one being declared for Trump. SC has 7 Congressional districts total.
In order to secure the GOP nomination, a candidate must secure a minimum of 1,237 delegates which at this point is virtually impossible for any candidate to secure before the convention via the primary election process. So to win this year’s GOP nomination, a candidate must have a strong ground game across the nation at the various ongoing district and state conventions. The SCGOP will elect another 26 delegates at it’s annual convention in Columbia May 7th where Cruz is also expected to dominate.
So far Cruz seems to be dominating Trump in the delegate elections in numerous states including Louisiana, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Colorado. Colorado did not hold a primary or caucus this year, but instead nominated via district conventions where Cruz has swept all of the state’s delegates.
Should Trump not secure 1,237 delegates prior to the national convention, it is seriously doubtful that he would stand any chance to gain more delegates on a second ballot since Cruz is clearly dominating the delegate election process via a far superior grassroots ground game.
By Javan Browder, Managing Editor – Conservative Fifty Dot Com