Ted Cruz shuts out Trump and Kasich in first round of Colorado delegate selection

Displaying the mastery of the political ground game tat has been his trademark this cycle, Ted Cruz shut out his rivals in Colorado yesterday, picking up the first six delegates awarded in that state, at Congressional district-level conventions. John Frank of the Denver Post reports:

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz took the first six national delegates awarded in Colorado, winning all the seats elected at two congressional district conventions Saturday.

Of the six delegates and six alternates elected, 10 pledged support to the Texas senator and two is [sic] unpledged.

Donald Trump supporters made loud noise [sic] at the conventions and John Kasich put formed [sic] a three-delegate slate — but both candidates were shut out.

As has been true elsewhere, the Cruz campaign has done its homework, and in American politics that has always made a difference:

The overwhelming win showcased the Cruz campaign’s months-long efforts behind the scenes in Colorado, led by U.S. Rep. Ken Buck with help from grassroots organizations, Gun Owners of America and the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

Former House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s most famous aphorism was, “All politics are local,” meaning that in a federal republic such as ours, national issues are determined from the ground upwards, with local level operations, often highly personal, combining to produce national level results. (When I was living in O’Neill’s district in the 1960s-70s, I had multiple opportunities to meet him and have my hand shaken by him, as did all my neighbors. He really meant it about local being dominant over national concerns, despite his high national profile.)

The remaining 34 Colorado’s delegates will be chosen through a similar ground game-intensive process,

forcing the campaigns to fight through the caucus process for candidates who may remain unbound to the national convention. Each of the state’s seven congressional districts elect three delegates to Cleveland and the final 13 are picked at the state GOP convention April 9 in Colorado Springs.

By operating with foresight and organizing a detailed and focused effort at the local level, Cruz is playing by the rules and gaining a large advantage over Trump in the fight to get to 247 delegates. I expect Trump to complain that “party bosses” are determining the outcome But the act is that such a fight was open to his efforts, but he chose not to do the grunt work of organizing at that level.

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