So, how has Paul Manafort demonstrated his keen delegate wrangling mojo? …Well, let’s put it this way.
- Good: Team Trump sent out an email blast to loyal Trump supporters encouraging them to go sign up to be potential Trump delegates in Washington State. Yay!
- Bad: Well, they mixed up the location a little, and sent that email blast to Trump supporters in Washington, DC. Boo!
- TRUMP: …and the deadline to sign up for being a delegate in Washington State was two days ago. Dur!
Okaay… let’s walk through this one. Washington State has 44 delegates up for grabs in a closed Winner-Take-Most primary, broken down by statewide and Congressional District. The delegates are bound to the candidate who wins them – the usual one-ballot rule – and so it behooves a prudent candidate who thinks that this convention is going to the second ballot to make sure that all the delegates are actually your partisans, because then… they’re your partisans. This is familiar by now, yes?
Well. It’s already becoming clear that Ted Cruz thought about all of this ahead of time and the other candidates did not:
Out of more than 70 people vying for delegate slots [at the Washington State 5th Legislative District GOP caucus], only about a half dozen or so are for Trump.
And by the end of the balloting, Cruz supporters have taken every single delegate spot. Forty-one of them are heading to the state convention. Not one Trump supporter made it through.
…and when they’re at the state convention they’ll be joining all the other legislative district caucus delegates to pick the delegates. Three guesses what will happen if Cruz supporters dominate the convention? – Yes, and that’s why Paul Manafort has hit the panic button. Well. He hit a panic button. Which was wired to a discontinued crisis center on the literal other side of the continent. And it didn’t matter anyway because the deadline had passed.
Although I suppose that they’ll just blame this on the previous people running things. That’s typically what people do when there’s a screw-up. But Manafort should understand something: he’s just opened up his first envelope.