The behind-the-scenes fight for delegates on the GOP side is getting ugly. Ted Cruz may have won Colorado yesterday while nobody was looking:
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has swept the Colorado GOP convention, winning all 13 of the state’s at-large delegates.
And after also winning all 21 delegates awarded at the congressional district conventions throughout the week, the Texas senator leaves Colorado with a complete shutout of his opponents.
In a statement Saturday night, Cruz said the win proves that Republicans are coming together behind him.
"Today was another resounding victory for conservatives, Republicans, and Americans who care about the future of our country," Cruz said in the statement. "Utah, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and tonight’s incredible results in Colorado have proven this: Republicans are uniting behind our campaign because they want a leader with real solutions who will bring back jobs, freedom, and security."
But meanwhile, Kasich and Trump returned the favor in the much larger Michigan:
Ted Cruz suffered a rare convention loss Saturday after delegates backing John Kasich and Donald Trump boxed him out of key positions in the Michigan delegation.
The Texas senator's campaign ran eight delegates for eight committee spots and lost every one, alleging it was "double-crossed" by Kasich supporters.
The Michigan delegation picked one Trump supporter, Matt Hall, and one Kasich supporter, Judi Schwalbach, for the two seats on the powerful rules committee. The Cruz campaign lost votes for both seats.
The rules committee seats have become highly coveted prizes for their role in shaping a contested convention in Cleveland. After the delegates are selected in each state, they meet as a group and pick the members of four convention committees, the most important of which is the rules committee, which will ultimately decide who can be nominated president.
Michigan Cruz leader Saul Anuzis said they were "double-crossed" by Kasich's campaign. The Kasich delegates were supposed to vote with Cruz delegates, he said, but switched sides and voted with Trump behind closed doors Saturday afternoon.
The reality is that the GOP's contested convention in July in Cleveland is actually already being contested now at the state-level conventions following the primaries. These battles are being fought in state GOP rules committees ahead of Cleveland. The real race is controlling these committees ahead of a contested convention.
We'll see which Republican can play the game the best.