Donald Trump’s effort to reset his campaign following defeat in Wisconsin showed no signs of paying off this weekend, as a series of technical failures by his campaign set his hopes back even further.
From Thursday to Saturday, Trump suffered setbacks in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, South Carolina and Indiana that raise new doubts about his campaign’s preparedness for the long slog of delegate hunting as the GOP race approaches a possible contested convention. He lost the battle on two fronts. Cruz picked up 28 pledged delegates in Colorado. In the other states, rival campaigns were able to place dozens of their own loyalists in delegate spots pledged to Trump on the first ballot. This will matter if Trump fails to win a majority of delegates on the first ballot in Cleveland, as his delegates defect once party rules allow them to choose the candidate they want to nominate.
Trump’s campaign mounted a haphazard campaign for delegates in Colorado, where hundreds ran to be at large representatives in Cleveland at the state convention in Colorado Springs. The frontrunner’s advisers repeatedly instructed supporters to vote for the wrong candidates—distributing the incorrect delegate numbers to supporters. Cruz, who traveled to address the convention, swept the state’s 34 delegates on the back of a disciplined organizing effort, that included text message and video displays advertising his preferred slate.
In an appearance on NBC’s Meet The Press, Paul Manafort, the DC lobbyist-turned Trump convention manager accused Cruz’s campaign of engaging in “Gestapo tactics” as it looks to use the party rules to its fullest advantage, before trying to brush off the series of defeats.
Manafort has been tasked with professionalizing the ad hoc Trump organization and refocusing it around winning delegates. It’s a task that in many states is already too little, too late, as Trump has sacrificed delegate slots to rivals due to a lackluster organizing, or just apathy Continue reading