Forget the primaries. It’s no longer about delegate count. It doesn’t matter who has the lead when they get to Cleveland this July. And no, I’m sorry to say that if you’ve already voted in a Republican Primary somewhere along the way, you probably aren’t going to have your voice heard. The “inside game” has already begun, and it looks like Ted Cruz is going to be the winner of it.
The “inside game” is what happens when you get everybody to show up at a convention and nobody has the majority of delegates. Cruz already realizes that there is no way in hell that he can amass the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination on the first ballot. And he’s banking on the fact that the momentum appears to be shifting his way. If he were to win the majority of delegates from this point forward…or even come close to it…Donald Trump would also not have a majority of delegates come July. That makes it a contest convention. And while Trump was having rallies and smiling, and calling Cruz “Lying Ted” in his Tweets, Cruz was busy playing the inside game of meeting with GOP leaders all over the country, and trying to twist the arms of the delegates not for the first round ballot, but for the subsequent ballots. He appears to be winning the inside game.
Trump is coming late to the party. Base it on the fact he’s not a politician, and he doesn’t understand the inside game of politics as well as he understands the inside game of real estate. And being late to this party is the same thing as conceding. Unfortunately for Trump, it probably means that once he gets to Cleveland, he’s going to find that the rules committee is going to be overly-stocked with Cruz people. Now, you and I won’t see anything about that on the election coverage, but it’ll be very important. The rules committee is the group of folks that decides how things run once the convention starts. Cruz could also very easily be out-voted by over a million votes, but end up with more supporters inside the convention all than Trump has. Again, it’s all because of what the rules committee decides.
What’s Trump’s response to all of this? Well, he was kind of pissed when he learned what was going on. He’s a pragmatist, and doesn’t like to lose, but he also doesn’t like to get beat through the back door, and that’s exactly what Ted has done to him. So, while it may appear that Trump is coming close to the nomination, will it really matter once the convention starts? That’s going to be the 1,237 delegate question!
We won’t be reading a lot of press reports about the inside game. We won’t be seeing the news anchors talking about it on the nightly news. We won’t be reading about it in the newspapers or online. But trust me, it’s probably going to be more important than what you and I think about this race, or how we voted. And it’s all politics.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!