After the strong showing by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Super Saturday, when he won Kansas and Maine and came a close second to Donald Trump in Kentucky and Louisiana, it is increasingly clear that the Republican race might only be decided in June, in the California primary.
Republican strategist Ed Rollins told Fox News on Saturday night that the race could go all the way to California, where there are a staggering 172 delegates at stake:
MONICA CROWLEY: It’s possible that Ted Cruz or somebody else or maybe the collection of existing candidates will rack up enough delegates to deny Donald Trump the 12 — the over 1,200 delegates that he needs. But once you move into winner-take-all it becomes increasingly unlikely.
ED ROLLINS: Last day of the primaries, which is June 6th, which is California, this 294 bound delegates [including other states] at that point in time. That’s a lot of delegates.
MARTHA MCCALLUM: So you can see it as that scenario, because even Super Tuesday, ed, was not a sweep for Donald Trump … every time we get together to do this, we see Ted Cruz doing a little bit better than people thought, taking a couple of the states away from Donald Trump that looked like they were his when you went into the evening. So it is possible you go all the way to California.
As Breitbart California political editor Jon Fleischman explained last year, California could involve hand-to-hand combat all over the state, including in reliably Democratic congressional districts:
… whichever candidate wins the plurality of the vote in each of California’s 53 U.S. House Districts will be awarded the three delegates from that district. In addition, a small number of statewide delegates will all go to the winner of the plurality of the statewide GOP vote …
These rules mean that candidates do not have to approach California as a huge, monolithic and prohibitively expensive place in which to campaign. Candidates can campaign regionally, or even micro-target specific Congressional Districts.
Our very blue state has a vast number of very liberal seats where the number of voting Republicans is, frankly, miniscule. But these small voting universes of GOP voters in Democratic strongholds will decide the fate of three delegates to the RNC convention.
In the most recent Field Poll, California Republicans preferred Cruz slightly to Trump. Trump led the poll last fall.