Ted Cruz Aims To Clinch GOP Convention Through Cruz-Favoring Delegates

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on March 24, 2016 in Janesville, Wisconsin.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

It may happen that neither GOP frontrunner Donald Trump nor rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) reach the 1,237 delegate threshold needed to obtain the nomination before the Republican National Convention.

But according to plans out of at least two different states, Cruz could likely clinch the nomination on the second vote at the convention through favorable delegate selections.

Although the Republican National Convention rules might change before the 2016 GOP meeting in July, as it stands now, if none of the candidates reach 1,237 delegates on the first vote to secure the nomination, the delegates from all the states become unbound to their assigned candidates, and can then cast their vote for whomever they favor on the second ballot.

Kevin Bray, a Trump supporter and volunteer in Missouri, tells Breitbart News he learned of Cruz campaign volunteers’ plan to send delegates from Missouri that are favorable to Cruz to the national convention in hopes that the Texas senator could secure the nomination on a second vote.

“I’m a Trump supporter and I came back from New Hampshire full of energy and looking at what I could do to help out,” Bray explained to Breitbart News.

One of my friends is very well plugged into the Republican Party here locally and notified me that Cruz was going to have a huge meeting. It was pretty well publicized. They even ran a radio ad for it. It was open to anybody, so even though I was a Trump supporter, I didn’t feel like I was violating any ethics or anything. I went to the meeting just to find out what they were up to and that’s when roughly 100 [to] 110 people showed up. It was standing room only.

The meeting took place at Greene County Public Library in Springfield, Missouri on Friday February 19, and was labeled on the schedule “Greene County for Cruz.”

“There were a couple of elected officials on the state level that were there,” Bray recalled. “The lady, I think her name was Bev … she’s the one that really ran the entire meeting.”

Bray said she specifically stated that, “Their goal was to get 50 percent plus one vote [in the primary]. If they were able to achieve that, they get 100 percent of the delegates [under Missouri rules], but the belief was that no candidate was going to get to that point.”

“So, the second position for that was to make sure – she specifically said we want to get all Cruz loyal people into those positions as delegates and if anyone was interested in being a delegate for that to contact them,” Bray charged. “I’d say it’s a very strong ‘plan B’ because they knew the way the elections have been trending across the country, Mr. Trump hasn’t gotten 50 percent plus one at any state, so they felt very confident that they would be able to stack the deck with the delegates with Cruz.”

“They’re being very successful at it,” Bray said when asked by Breitbart News whether or not he thinks the delegates are being stacked to favor Cruz.

When you compare the two candidates campaigns here locally, or in Missouri area, Cruz has been here for well over a year. He has a ground game that is phenomenal. Mr. Trump declared in late June and he really hasn’t developed a ground game so much so that on the day of the election, I was stunned that Mr. Trump did as well as he did. I was shocked that Cruz hadn’t taken Missouri.

Bray stressed how militant the Cruz meeting’s leader was, adding, “She was very sincere about making sure that they stacked the deck,” and that, “it was her saying look, ‘This is how we have to accomplish this goal.’”

Bev Ehlen was the woman who led the Cruz volunteer meeting, according to Bray.

Breitbart News reached out to Ehlen and asked if she wished to comment on her remarks.

Ehlen explained to Breitbart News, “We’ve done it for years in caucus, pick candidates that we’ve supported for president. This year; however, it does take on a new meaning because it may actually be a brokered convention. We haven’t had one for over 30 years. It’s just kind of standard operating procedure here in Missouri. I would think it would be pretty much operating procedure in every state to pick these delegates to support a certain candidate.”

Bray’s alleged assessment of Cruz’s plan to clinch the GOP nomination is echoed by a recent Politico report, which reports a similar effort is underway in South Dakota.

“Kasich and Cruz are scrambling to secure commitments from bound delegates to break off on a second ballot and vote against Trump. In many cases, that means asking delegates to buck Republican primary voters in the name of settling on a nominee,” Politico’s Kyle Cheney reports, adding that sources suggest Cruz will be the one to benefit.

South Dakota’s delegation is top-heavy with supporters of Cruz, the Texas senator whose ideological purity has resonated in this deeply conservative Midwestern state. Most delegates expect South Dakota to devolve into a slugfest between Cruz and Trump, and Cruz’s ultraconservative identity gives him an early edge.

“For now, Cruz can take heart that even if South Dakota votes for Trump in June — binding nearly all 29 delegates to back the New York billionaire on the first ballot — the delegates signaled they’re with him at heart,” Cheney adds.

John Teupel, a South Dakota delegate and former state lawmaker, admitted to Politico, “I’m supporting Ted Cruz, but I’m going to support on the first ballot whoever the citizens of South Dakota support in the Republican primary. Beyond that, we’re gonna have to look at what the situation is and what kind of alliances can be drawn and how can the votes be structured to get somebody the nomination and what’s gonna unify the party.”

In South Dakota the delegates have already been slated and announced, but in Missouri, the delegates are chosen through local and district caucuses, and finalized at the state convention.

The Missouri local and district caucuses take place in April, and the state convention is scheduled for May 21.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.