Republican candidates for president may have their eyes focused on the 95 delegates at stake in next week’s New York primary, but delegate drama is far from over closer to home.
The path to win the total 1,237 delegates needed to get the nomination outright seems more and more unlikely for each of the remaining candidates. That means a battle royal to win the hearts and votes of the 155 Texas delegates.
But wait – didn’t we just have a primary here? Brandon Rottinghaus, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston, says that candidates have an opportunity to sort of “peel away” delegates that are up for grabs.
“What ends up happening is that you’ve got some delegates that are bound to vote for the candidates that won that congressional district,” Rottinghaus says. “So what we have is sort of a two-step process, where the individuals at the congressional district level are chosen, and those individuals are bound to vote for the candidate who won that congressional district. Then those individuals are going to be collectively choosing the at-large delegates.”
There is a bit of strategy involved for campaigns to win over these delegates. Rottinghaus says that Cruz’s campaign has done this well. Trump? Not so much.
“The Trump campaign has been less good at this. He’s complained about the fact that this is a rigged system,” Rottinghaus says. “But it’s like getting to the World Series and complaining that second base is too far away. The fact is that these rules have been put in place for so long that a smart campaign is ready to put this into action.”
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.