Thursday, May 5, 2016

9 GOP Primaries To Come-What Happens Next As Cruz "Zombie Campaign" Continues?

There are nine more Republican primaries left, what happens to those contests? There will still, rightly, be names on the ballot other than Trump's and absentee ballots will have been cast so the process must continue.

The turn out will be I imagine very low for the remaining primaries but with 84 guaranteed from NJ/WV for Donald Trump he really only needs 100 or so from Ca to get past 1237, even without Pa's 54 unbound,with even 50% of Wash/Ore/NM) so I can't imagine any convention problems on that score.

bound: 1011
unbound: 45

1237 delegates needed to win

But there are other considerations, What happens to the Cruz and Kasich delegates that are, in some states, now unbound?
Why is it important for Trump to win as many as possible of the remaining bound delegates? See also Cruz's continued delegate hunt;

Ted Cruz’s zombie campaign   

"The Texas senator has given up on being the GOP nominee, but he’s still fighting for control of the party’s future."

To these, and other questions I corresponded with an expert on such matters and set out the pertinent replies below (red emphasis is mine)

The delegate 'slots' are initially "assigned"- via the Primary vote- as if the candidates are still active (after all, those voting in the remaining Primaries are not required to vote for Trump simply because he's now the last man standing: they can still vote for any candidate- and/or slate of delegates- still on the ballot and their votes for other than Trump still count and, as a result, still work themselves into the math which then "spits out" the resultant delegate count [unlike the Dems, the GOP doesn't have "top down" rules penalizing a candidate who has already left the race via such things as denying such a candidate certain classes of delegates])...

However, when the delegates themselves (the actual "warm bodies" occupying the seats on the floor of the Convention in Cleveland) are chosen later on, any and all relevant 
State GOP rules re: dealing with delegates originally so "assigned" to now-no longer active candidates then come into play (you would have to look at the relevant State GOP sites, for instance, if a State's GOP rules automatically free (unbind) delegates, even those of a candidate who has suspended his campaign but has not formally withdrawn, then those delegates will be formally so unbound; however, in a State where a candidate who has suspended his campaign (but not withdrawn) gets to keep his delegates, those delegates are still his (unless, of course, he later specifically releases them).
Part of what makes this so complicated is the fact that Cruz and Kasich have merely suspended their campaigns (like all the others before them who have left the field at least initially did, they have not actually withdrawn their respective candidacies per se) and not only does this allow them to still keep at least most of their delegates, this also has campaign finance law ramifications ("suspending" buys a candidate at least some more time re: legally disposing of unspent campaign funds and paying down campaign debt that withdrawing outright would not)...

as a result, it is hard to say whether Cruz and Kasich each "suspended" more in order to still "control" delegates (if only for the time being) or more because of these legal aspects re: the financing of their respective campaigns.

BTW: for a good past example of what happens re: candidates that have dropped out, see- for example- Oregon GOP 2012[via our page at the URL]. Both Santorum and Gingrich had dropped out by the 2012 Oregon Presidential Primary of that year but still won delegates in that Primary.

As for the voting in remaining GOP Primaries themselves, there will from now on be two things to watch for:

1. There might well be a "protest vote" by at least some voters not at all enamored of Trump (through voting for other candidates or their delegates [as in West Virginia next week]): it will be quite interesting to see just how much of such a thing emerges-- or not--- because

2. Now Trump has a chance to not only gain at least 1237 but to even well surpass it: and the more delegates Trump can now get through the remaining Primaries (as opposed to gaining the support of unbound delegates once belonging to other candidates and/or delegates released by other candidates), the bigger his mandate going into the Convention in Cleveland (a final post- Trump delegate total of, say, 1400+ outright would make it a lot harder for those Republican politicians and Party operatives who might still want to "turn their back" on their own Party's presidential nominee to then actually do so).

Obviously, the interplay of 1. vs. 2 above will determine if candidates other than Trump can even still get a significant number of delegates the rest of the way: in such a case (Trump winning almost all the outstanding delegates in the remaining Primaries anyway) .