Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has canceled a California visit planned for Friday as he scrambles to protect his delegates from being poached by rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Cruz, meanwhile, is continuing with plans to visit the Golden State in the next few days, and is scheduled to rally with local activists in San Diego on Monday.
“Mr. Trump has rescheduled his California trip and will be campaigning in New York,” said Trump campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks said in an email Thursday morning, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. “He looks forward to returning to California in the weeks ahead.”
Meanwhile, the Cruz campaign emailed activists to invite them to his San Diego rally.
Trump enjoyed something of a rebound this week after a crushing loss to Cruz in Wisconsin. As the campaign shifted to Trump’s home state of New York, where Cruz has made himself a pariah after attacking “New York values” during the Iowa caucuses, Trump regained his rhythm. But Cruz’s political organization has been quietly ensuring that its own supporters are selected as delegates to the Republican National Convention, even where they are legally bound to vote for Trump on the first ballot, in order to make a run at the nomination on later ballots, should Cruz succeed in denying Trump a 1,237-delegate majority on the first.
Cruz claims that he is still seeking to win 1,237 delegates himself, but that is mathematically almost impossible, and will be ruled out following primary contests in New York on April 19 and elsewhere in the Northeast on April 26. His goal in delegate-rich California is to deny Trump a large win that could put him over, or near, the 1,237-delegate threshold. Unofficially, he is running for a contested convention.
Trump was to have addressed reporters in Rancho Palos Verdes — one of the few areas of Los Angeles County with a significant Republican presence, and which is likely to be hotly contested between Trump and Cruz. Rancho Palos Verdes is part of the 33rd congressional district, which includes Hollywood and Beverly Hills, and is represented by liberal Democrat Ted Lieu. However, there are Republican votes to be won in the beach cities along the coast.
Update: Donald Trump has tweeted an explanation for the cancelation:
So great to be in New York. Catching up on many things (remember, I am still running a major business while I campaign) and loving it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2016