The Rule: First Candidate to 1,237 Wins

By David Limbaugh

Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz
David Limbaugh
David Limbaugh

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- I have been concerned for some time that forces supporting Donald Trump have intentionally been laying the groundwork for claiming that Trump will have been cheated if he doesn't earn the GOP nomination.

When this primary season began, few people gave Ted Cruz a snowball's chance to be in serious contention, but he has repeatedly demonstrated just how much people underestimated him.

He not only is the most informed and consistent on policy but also has assembled a grass-roots organization whose sophistication makes Obama's then-cutting-edge 2008 campaign look like 1990.

Cruz has been ganged up on from the beginning but has outlasted the vicious charges and is now on an upward arc. He is the only candidate who has survived the damning mini-labels of Trump that helped undo Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and others.

But Trump is no dummy, either. By relentlessly bellowing “Lyin‘ Ted,” he planted seeds for defamatory remarks against Cruz in case the tide of the campaign would tilt in his favor, as it appears to have done.

Cruz is systematically fulfilling the prophecy he made that he would begin to defeat Trump as the field narrowed, when people would focus more on the contrast between him and Trump.

Since Rubio dropped out, Cruz has won far more delegates than Trump, whose negatives are through the roof, especially with women.

Cruz is also mopping up delegates in caucuses and primaries in the various states because he is more prepared, more organized and more committed — and because he is humble enough to know he has to attend to details in every aspect of this campaign. And the delegates who Trump claims are being stolen are choosing Cruz because they see him as the more presidential and reliable of the two.

Yet Trump-favoring media and commentators, as if on cue, spread the canard that Cruz is strong-arming delegates and “stealing” them. That some are receptive to this is a testament to the effectiveness of all the previous slanders against ‘Lyin' Ted Cruz.

Many Trump supporters seem to think they have an exclusive claim to angst against the ruling class. They alone are “we the people.” They alone are entitled to their nominee, especially because he has a lead in the delegate count.

I've had many suggest that at such time as it becomes mathematically impossible for Cruz to win a majority of delegates going into the convention, he should withdraw — “because he can't win.” Moreover, the people have spoken, they say, and they support Trump, so everyone must get out of the way — rules be damned.

I assume that many of these Trump supporters are green about the process and are just overly eager for their guy, but others know better. For the incontrovertible fact is that the rules for a century and a half have provided that a candidate must get a majority of delegates to win.

That threshold happens to be 1,237 delegates. No one has ever credibly suggested that a candidate with a plurality of delegates must be anointed as the nominee. Those now arguing this are the ones wanting to suspend the rules, not those who support the time-honored rule. If this thinking had prevailed in 1860, Abraham Lincoln would not have been nominated that year. He was a distant second to William Seward on the first ballot and prevailed on the third ballot.

The delegates of most states are pledged to a certain candidate for the first ballot — and some through the second ballot — but afterward they are released to vote for whomever they choose on subsequent ballots.

Unhappily for the Trump camp, Trump is, according to renowned statistician Nate Silver's at FiveThirtyEight, the weakest GOP front-runner in modern history. Also, even people who have voted for him in earlier states may very well have buyer's remorse at this point.

But Team Trump, sticking to its message that Trump is inevitable, has adopted another clever tactic in trying to establish a fallback narrative in case he fails to reach 1,237 before Cleveland. The Trump folks spawned the conspiracy theory that Cruz is colluding with the establishment in the states to deny Trump the nomination. This dovetails with their consistent theme that Trump is the only outsider in the race.

But in fact, the party hasn't united around Cruz. Most establishment people probably prefer Cruz over Trump, but it's not because he is any less anti-establishment or less of a threat to business as usual in Washington. It's because they fear that Trump is volatile, unpresidential and authoritarian and know that Cruz is the only one who can beat him.

Over the weekend, Cruz continued to outwork, outmaneuver and outshine Trump, especially in Colorado, where Cruz won all 34 delegates. Immediately, the Trump forces cried that they were cheated out of the process. The implication is that “Lyin' Ted” broke the rules and “stole” the delegates. But there was no cheating. As FiveThirtyEight also reported, Trump “slipped up in Colorado. … Instead of putting together a top-notch convention team, Trump's campaign was a mess.” Ari Armstrong, a Colorado Republican who participated in the caucuses, wrote, “The simple fact is that the Republicans in my precinct caucus mostly disfavored Trump, and evidently that is true of most other precincts as well.”

And though Trump blasted the GOP's delegate rules Sunday and said a “corrupt” system is robbing him of delegates, NBC analysts say Trump has benefited more than Cruz “under the party's arcane rules for allocating delegates,” having been awarded 45 percent of the delegates despite having won just 37 percent of all the votes.

Trump is not entitled to the nomination unless and until he reaches the magic number, and neither is Cruz. It is sad that some who are claiming their votes don't count are the same ones who are saying Cruz votes shouldn't count — that Trump should be anointed now or when it becomes mathematically impossible for Cruz to win on the first ballot.

Team Cruz is not suggesting we twist the rules but insisting we adhere to them. Let's all agree to honor and play by the rules and recognize the winner of a majority of delegates when that moment occurs.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is “Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel.” Follow him on Twitter @davidlimbaugh and his website at www.davidlimbaugh.com.

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Freedom
Freedom
4 years ago

Eric_CA, Response on your “Freedom, Colorado set their primary rules many months ago. Don’t blame Ted Cruz for Trump’s incompetence or arrogance. I find it amusing that Trump is playing the victim card. What a whiner.” Trump has pointed out that the system is a big problem when the people in Colorado can’t vote for who they want, that is anti American and and more inline with a dictatorship. That needs to be changed for the people in Colorado and if Ted Cruz doesn’t say something about it than he is not a good person and is the arrogant and… Read more »

Freedom
Freedom
4 years ago

The GOP loves rules and in Colorado the rules are made so that the people in Colorado do not count! Lying Ted says he is follows the constitution but in Colorado the people didn’t get there vote counts but lying Ted didn’t have a problem with that! I am learning one thing in this election and that is We The People do not count!

I do give credit to Trump for opening everyone’s eyes to what the GOP system works. Not a good system, needs to be changed so that the peoples vote count.

Eric_CA
Eric_CA
4 years ago
Reply to  Freedom

Freedom, Colorado set their primary rules many months ago. Don’t blame Ted Cruz for Trump’s incompetence or arrogance. I find it amusing that Trump is playing the victim card. What a whiner.

Charles Valenzuela
Charles Valenzuela
4 years ago

All fine and well, but MY civics book (and the Constitution) says that Cruz (and Rubio) (and Obama) are not eligible to the office of President due to their not having BOTH parents as citizens at the time of birth as well as Cruz not even being born on US soil or a territory/possession of the US.
So. Trump is not good? Give me another candidate who IS eligible and I might vote for them. Otherwise, it looks like Trump. Kasich doesn’t even make it into the “also ran” list.

Eric_CA
Eric_CA
4 years ago

Charles, evidently Obama didn’t get the memo. If he is not eligible, then why is he in office? Maybe you should let him know he is not eligible so he could step down.

Eric_CA
Eric_CA
4 years ago

Anybody who has been paying attention knows that Trump has not run his campaign well and changes his mind sometimes in the same sentence. I honestly think Trump is NOT presidential.

Gaedini
Gaedini
4 years ago
Reply to  Eric_CA

good luck convincing any of the Trumpets of that, though. They believe that Trump is the only option because he’ll rile things up in DC. He sure might rile things up, but if he does it at the cost of the Constitution or betrayal of conservative values, then that only helps democrats. Honestly, he could be a great president, but we just don’t know if we can truly rely on him, I’m personally not willing to gamble on the presidency.

Eric_CA
Eric_CA
4 years ago
Reply to  Gaedini

Gaedini, I agree. I told a friend Trump is like rolling dice. Maybe a winner, maybe snake eyes.

VN Vet
VN Vet
4 years ago

One of the problems with this country is that it has lost it’s family values. It was been headed down a slippery slop for 3 decades now. Trump has no REAL Family Values and his biggest concern is just how much money can he make using the power of the president. On the other had Cruz does have family values and had worked hard to slow the slide on the slippery slop. But it can’t be done with one man or one party! It takes UNITY of the American People. I am a independent who votes according to the people… Read more »

5WarVeteran
5WarVeteran
4 years ago

I understand the right to freedom of speech but that dude is an affront to intelligent Americans everywhere.

Ray
Ray
4 years ago

All I can say is, “David Limbaugh is sounding dumber than his brother more every day”. How two such idiotic people can get to where they are on such limited intelligence is beyond me. No wonder this country is in the toilet. Politicians like those two are one of the main reasons that we need an outsider who uses his whole brain and employs others who do likewise is why we need Donald Trump. Rush, and his big mouth, helped to lose it for republicans once before and he’s about to do it again. He and his equally ignorant brother… Read more »

abelhorn
abelhorn
4 years ago
Reply to  Ray

With brains like yours and Trumps this country is GONE.