Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has all but thrown in the towel in Wyoming ahead of the Republican convention today.
The billionaire businessman’s campaign made a conscious decision not to commit resources to Wyoming, according to Alan Cobb, a senior Trump adviser.
Trump picked only up a single delegate in last month’s Wyoming county conventions while rival Ted Cruz scored nine. There are 14 more delegates at stake at this weekend’s state convention.
In a telephone interview with The Associated Press from the convention site in Casper, Cobb said yesterday that he expects Cruz to sweep what remains of the 29 delegates up for grabs in the Wyoming convention.
“This process is favorable toward party-insider folks,” Cobb said. “When you don’t have a vote of the people, it just favors (Cruz).”
While Cruz’ campaign has been working for months lining up support among Wyoming’s Republican insiders, Trump’s campaign has limited mobilization in the state, and the candidate has not spent any time campaigning there. Cruz is scheduled to attend today’s convention.
The state party’s arcane system of allocating delegates through county meetings followed by the state convention doesn’t favor the disorganized.
If Cruz performs as expected, Wyoming’s result could mirror that of Colorado, where Cruz swept all 34 delegates earlier this month. Trump encouraged supporters to demonstrate against the Colorado party’s presidential nominating process yesterday at the state capitol in Denver.
“The very insider, narrow pathways like Wyoming, they just don’t work very well for us,” Cobb said. “Campaigns make strategic choices on where to go and where to invest, and just given your process here, it just doesn’t lend itself to our kind of campaign and candidate.”
Sarah Palin had been scheduled to speak for Trump in Casper today but the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee canceled her appearance on Thursday. Cobb said he may wind up giving Trump’s address.
Even so, Cobb said he still sees Trump on track to win the 1,237 delegates required to secure the Republican nomination on the first ballot at the national convention this summer.
“We’ve got the Northeast states,” he said. “I think we’ll do well in California, Oregon, Washington.”
By contrast, the Cruz campaign in Wyoming has been well organized for months. Ed Buchanan, a former Wyoming House speaker, is state campaign chairman.