Cruz Sweeps Delegates Up for Grabs in Colorado
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include the latest delegate totals for GOP presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has swept all of the delegates that were up for grabs in Colorado, a victory that further illustrated the organizational strength of his campaign in comparison with GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.
Cruz won Colorado’s final 13 delegates Saturday when the state GOP held its convention in Colorado Springs. Cruz had secured another 21 delegates in seven contests at the congressional district level that started last week. The remaining three of Colorado’s 37 delegates are party leaders not pledged to any candidate.
Cruz spoke at the convention Saturday afternoon, billing his gains in Colorado as the latest chapter in a winning streak that began with the Utah caucuses last month and extended through the seven congressional district conventions in the Centennial State. Trump still maintains the lead in the overall delegate count.
“In three weeks, in 10 elections in a row, we have beaten Donald Trump,” Cruz said, teasing a potential sweep on Saturday. “And I very much hope later today to be able to modify that statement to say, ‘In 11 elections in a row, we have beaten Donald Trump.”
Hours later, Cruz’s hopes came true as the final 13 delegates went entirely to him. Cruz issued a statement declaring another “resounding victory for conservatives, Republicans, and Americans who care about the future of our country.”
Cruz’s win in the Centennial State brought him within 200 delegates of Trump overall. Cruz now trails Trump by 198 delegates, 743 to 545, according to the Associated Press.
Cruz is seeking to make the most of his delegate hauls before the race turns to the northeast. The next major nominating contest is the primary on April 19 in New York, where 95 delegates are up for grabs and Trump is heavily favored.
The outcome in the Centennial State serves as the latest example of Cruz’s campaign out-organizing Trump’s, which is going through a shakeup as it becomes apparent the billionaire is losing ground to Cruz in the increasingly important hunt for delegates. Both candidates believe they can win the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination before the Republican National Convention in July in Cleveland, but their campaigns are also preparing for a contested convention.
Led by U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, Cruz’s team in Colorado appeared to be the best organized. His supporters wore orange shirts bearing a list of delegates the campaign preferred, and as he spoke, large screens behind him displayed the slate as well. “There’s no prizes for subtlety in politics,” Cruz joked.
Four of the 34 delegates Cruz won in Colorado are unbound to him, meaning they could technically vote for someone else at the convention. However, the four delegates have declared their support for Cruz, all but guaranteeing they can be counted on to back him in Cleveland.
Cruz’s Colorado sweep began April 1, when he scooped up all six delegates available at the first two congressional district conventions. Cruz was similarly successful in five more of the same types of contests held Thursday and Friday, sweeping an additional 15 delegates.
Cruz’s campaign has another opportunity to show off its organizational might a week from now, when the Wyoming GOP holds its convention to determine who will win its final 17 delegates going to Cleveland. Cruz, who is scheduled to address the gathering in Cheyenne, has already won nine out of 12 delegates that were at stake last month in the state.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2016/04/09/cruz-sweeps-all-37-delegates-colorado/.