To recap… Colorado has 37 delegates going to the convention: 3 for state GOP leaders, 13 at-large delegates representing the entire state, and 21 for the state Congressional Districts (3 per CD). The delegates will be chosen over the next week (starting tomorrow, and continuing until April 8th, for the CD delegates, Saturday the 9th for the statewide), and the Colorado GOP deliberately decided to let the delegates themselves decide whether or not to formally endorse a particular candidate on the first ballot.
Normally this would be of academic interest in a Presidential election, but these are not normal times. So it’s of note that the Colorado GOP reported today that, of the almost 600 candidates being considered for the statewide delegate positions, 60% were uncommitted, 30% supported Ted Cruz, 7% supported Donald Trump, and 2% supported John Kasich. If this holds true for the CD delegate candidates, it suggests three things: one, a lot of people in Colorado are expecting a contested convention in Cleveland this year. Two, Ted Cruz has been and will be doing the grunt work to get delegates committed to him going to the convention (he’s already committed to speak at the CO GOP state convention next week). Three, Trump… has apparently not done the grunt work. And neither has Kasich, but we kind of knew that already.
If you are wondering about why #2 and #3 happened, well, so are a lot of other people. This seems to be a Politics 130: Fundamentals Of State Delegate Allocation kind of situation. I can understand why Kasich overlooked Colorado: the governor is not really running a fifty-state campaign and the state doesn’t fit his criteria. But it seems clear from context that up to this point – and delegate selection starts tomorrow – that Ted Cruz has had the state pretty much to himself when it came to locking down support. It won’t get Cruz all the delegates, but early indications are that he is poised to improve his position at the expense of both his rivals. One would think that this outcome would have been at least contested by a rival’s competent campaign apparatus.
…Or is that the answer?
PS: I can’t for the life of me decide whether it’ll hurt the other candidates more to show up at the state convention, or to not show up. Seven-five and pick ’em, I guess.