The delegate-selection process underway in Colorado today is an illustration of why a contested convention, if the Republican primary comes to that, favors Ted Cruz over Donald Trump.
Colorado is one of just six states and territories that doesn’t hold a primary or caucus; rather, the state GOP sets up a process by which delegates are elected and sent to the national convention, where they are free to vote for any candidate they like. Normally, of course, outliers like Colorado are overlooked entirely. This year, of course, its quirky process may help decide the nominee. And that’s good for Ted Cruz.
Last week, the state’s seven congressional districts elected three delegates each. All, according to CNN, were Cruz supporters. Today, 13 more at-large delegates are being elected at the state convention, where reports indicate Cruz supporters outnumber the opposition.
It’s another illustration of why, as I wrote last month, a contested convention is likely to tilt in Cruz’s favor. Yes, he has a superior ground organization. But, perhaps more importantly, the sorts of people involved in state-party politics at the grassroots level who are running for delegate positions — who understand the machinery of the start party thanks to their involvement in the political process over the years — are simply more likely to be ideological conservatives dispositionally inclined to support Cruz (or even John Kasich) over Donald Trump.