Donald Trump won the Louisiana Primary beating Ted Cruz by 3.6% of the vote. Because of how the delegates were apportioned – on a proportional basis for statewide delegates and by congressional district they were tied in the delegate allocation and were given 18 a piece. Marco Rubio won 5 delegates.
It is possible that Cruz could pick up more delegates in Louisiana when all is said and done which has Trump in a litigious mood.
He tweeted on Easter Sunday afternoon:
Just to show you how unfair Republican primary politics can be, I won the State of Louisiana and get less delegates than Cruz-Lawsuit coming
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2016
A lawsuit over what exactly? It’s pretty clear that Trump does not understand the nomination process. Cruz would pick up delegates according to the rules that applies to all candidates.
The allocation process for at-large delegates left five delegates unbound. Also delegates belonging to candidates who have dropped out of the race become free agent according to Louisiana Republican Party rules. Trump could have competed for these delegates, but according to the Wall Street Journal, Cruz is likely to win those 10 unbound delegates.
This is completely legitimate. It is not unfair. It’s not as if Trump was boxed out from winning over unbound delegates.
Only three states – Iowa, North Carolina and Virginia keep delegates bound for candidates who have dropped out.
Other states the rules vary. Alaska already reallocated its delegates. In the District of Columbia the candidates need to officially withdraw in order for their delegates to be unbound – no one has done that yet. There is a question of whether or not a candidate “suspending” their campaign is enough to unbind their delegates. Rubio has only suspended, not withdrawn. If so that opens up delegates in states like Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Texas.
In other states/territories like Nevada, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Puerto Rico Rubio can decide whether or not to release his delegates.
North Dakota, Colorado and Wyoming all have unbound delegates which are likely to go to Cruz as he has shown he has the strategy and organization to pick most if not all of those delegates up.
So this is not a matter of being unfair. It is a matter of following each state convention rules and going after the delegates that are unbound or free agents. The nomination is down to who can reach 1237 delegates first which is 50% of the delegates plus one. If that is not decided by or one June 7th it will come down to a contested convention. Trump could lead after the first ballot only to lose as almost all of the delegates become unbound on the 2nd and following ballots. If that happens he only has himself to blame for not being properly organized to keep his delegates. Those were the rules that everyone was aware of before they got into the race.