Barring the rules being changed just before the Republican National Convention in July, there are now two candidates who have qualified for the presidential nomination.
Under the now-infamous Rule 40(b), U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined businessman Donald Trump by adding his eighth state or territorial delegate majority over the weekend. Regardless of the outcome of the remaining primaries and caucuses, he will be put in for the nomination alongside Trump.
Wyoming held its state convention Saturday, at which the remaining 14 statewide delegates were elected by party members. And, much like when the district delegates were selected last month, Cruz was the overwhelming choice; he won all 14 of them, giving him 23 of the state's 29 delegates to the national convention.
"We had a tremendous show of grassroots support that resulted in a critical victory at today's Wyoming Republican Convention," he said afterward. "Grassroots are rising up. Republicans overwhelmingly elected delegates who will support us at the national convention and nominate us to take on Hillary Clinton."
Cruz also has delegate majorities from his home state of Texas, Kansas, Maine, Idaho, Utah, Wisconsin and Colorado.
"This victory continues a momentum shift that started in Utah and carried through Wisconsin, North Dakota and Colorado," he added. "This is how elections are won in America. This is another step in our drive to win a majority of Republicans to be the nominee."
After some shifting in delegate counts due to recalculations required by some states' rules, here are the new totals going into Tuesday's New York Primary:
- Trump—759 (needs 478)
- Cruz—555 (needs 682)
- Kasich—144 (mathematically eliminated)
Winning delegates will be vital to the Cruz campaign Tuesday. After the New York Primary, there will only be 674 remaining delegates left. If Cruz doesn't win at least eight delegates, he, too, will be mathematically eliminated from winning the nomination outright prior to the national convention.
Winning delegates Tuesday will be difficult, but not impossible. Cruz is unlikely to win even a plurality of the votes statewide, but could pick up delegates in individual congressional districts, if he can receive enough support to keep Trump below 50 percent while getting more than 20 percent himself.
New York has 27 congressional districts—16 in New York City and on Long Island and 11 "upstate" districts—of which nine are represented by Republicans in Washington, D.C.
Cruz also got a boost from New York City's conservative newspaper, the New York Sun, which published its endorsement for the Texas senator on Friday. It read, in part:
"In the Republican presidential primary in New York, the Sun urges a vote for Senator Ted Cruz. It hasn't been our normal practice to endorse in the primaries, but this year the vote, set for Tuesday, will take on outsized importance as we careen toward a contested convention. The junior senator from Texas has emerged from a crowded field by dint of his fidelity to principles—limited, constitutional government, sound money, free markets, and a strong foreign policy—that couldn't be at higher premium. They are the true New York Values ...
"The first thing we are looking for, in any event, is a candidate who grasps, is committed to, and is excited by America's constitutional principles. The Constitution ought to be a unifying instrument; it is, after all, the only thing that all of our legislators, officers, and judges—from the President to the county sheriffs—must be bound by oath to support. Our ideal candidate is someone who thinks in constitutional terms and who references and reveres the principles in our national parchment.
"On this head, Senator Cruz laps the field. He has done a better job than any other Republican at building a constitutional approach. He has also done a better job on the economy, though we wish that all candidates in both parties would grasp that the bitterness over illegal immigration into America can be permanently addressed only by economic growth. It is not the abundance of labor that has stunted our progress but rather the dead hand of government upon our economy.
"Mr. Cruz has put forth a more principled approach to taxes than another fine senator, Marco Rubio. Mr. Cruz's flat tax is more strategic, more equitable, more pro-growth. Both Mr. Cruz and Mr. Trump would seek the cuts in corporate taxes that have exiled to foreign countries trillions of dollars in corporate reserves. But Mr. Cruz has been far ahead of any other candidate in marking what for us is an essential element restoring American growth and employment—monetary reform.
"The Texan was the first to declare for sound money. He did this in the Republican debate in Colorado, when the question was put by Rick Santelli. Mr. Cruz declared that the Federal Reserve 'should get out of the business of trying to juice our economy and simply be focused on sound money and monetary stability, ideally tied to gold.' Mr. Trump, too, has spoken, en passant, of the virtues of the gold standard. But Mr. Cruz has been actually pursuing monetary reform within the Senate.
"The American Founders rejected a king. Their republican vision was a democracy in which the business of government is conducted by elected delegates, who are accountable to the law, tempered by an independent judiciary. Millions of Americans sense that the Democrats have become unmoored from the constitutional principles. Mrs. Clinton would re-write the First Amendment; New York, in 1788, ratified the Constitution only on the caveat that a Bill of Rights would be included. Those are the true New York values, and Mr. Cruz has been the most faithful to them in the current campaign."
Becoming mathematically eliminated doesn't prevent Cruz from winning the nomination, should Trump fail to win the outright majority of delegates he would need on the first ballot. And unless the RNC changes the rules, the Texas senator would be the only alternative to the political newcomer eligible for the nomination.
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