A supporter holds a sign as he waits for Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz's campaign stop at Waukesha County Exposition Center, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Waukesha, Wis. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Cruz Controls the Delegates

Ted Cruz had another stunning weekend upsetting Donald Trump’s plans to control the path to 1,237. In multiple states, Cruz swept delegate wins at conventions thereby setting the stage for a convention fight against Trump. Cruz won a minimum of 65 of the 94 total delegates up for grabs and may ultimately win more than that.

The downside for Cruz is that these wins are coming on weekends when the press is on autopilot and not on election nights. In fact, Trump is about to have a very big election night grabbing New England from Cruz and Kasich. But even with Trump’s coming wins, Cruz stands to neutralize Trump in Indiana. The ad blitz is taking off there and there is time to impact the race. Likewise, Cruz has a strong strategy in California in a place Trump is still struggling to recruit delegates.

The goal is to stop Trump from getting to 1,237 delegates. Cruz is setting the stage for a second ballot win at a contested convention. It is still possible. Those opposed to Trump must absolutely rally at this time. Ted Cruz had huge wins this weekend and is coming closer to making a second ballot win not just possible, but probable.

Cruz won at least 65 of the 94 delegates up for grabs Saturday (he may have won more than 65, but Kentucky’s 25 delegates haven’t revealed their leanings). The Texas senator has so thoroughly dominated the fight to send loyalists to the national convention that if front-runner Donald Trump fails to clinch the nomination on the first ballot, Cruz is well-positioned to surpass him — and perhaps even snag the nomination for himself — when delegates are free in subsequent convention rounds to vote for whomever they want.

On Saturday, he nearly won 19 of 20 seats available in Maine, losing just one to a Trump backer: Gov. Paul LePage. He also won all nine delegates on the ballot in three Minnesota congressional districts, picking up support in the lone state won by Marco Rubio. Cruz also grabbed one of three delegates in South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District, while the other two went to an uncommitted delegate and a supporter of Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Cruz’s biggest windfall, though, came from Utah, where at least 36 of 37 national delegates will be aligned with Cruz, who crushed Trump in the state’s caucuses on March 22. Included in the Utah delegation: Sen. Mike Lee, Gov. Gary Herbert and Reps. Mike Bishop and Mia Love. Only Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, the 37th delegate, is a wild card — he hasn’t revealed who he supports.

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Erick Erickson

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