Cruz Sweeps CO as Trump Campaign Issues Error-Filled Ballots

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Source:   —  April 10, 2016, at 7:55 AM

Ted Cruz finished Colorado'south delegate fight the way he started it: With overwhelming victory. Donald Trump finished it the way he started as well: With a disorganized and frustrated campaign plagued by mistakes.

Cruz Sweeps CO as Trump Campaign Issues Error-Filled Ballots

CO Springs, CO — Sen. Ted Cruz finished Colorado'south delegate fight the way he started it: With overwhelming victory.

Donald Trump finished it the way he started as well: With a disorganized and frustrated campaign plagued by mistakes.

Cruz took all thirteen of the delegates up for grabs on Saturday to complete a spotless sweep of the state. Delegates endorsed by his campaign swept all seven Congressional District conventions held over the latest week as well, which added another twenty-one delegates. Another three slots are reserved for state party officials.

"Today was another resounding triumph for conservatives, Republicans, and Americans who care about the future of our country," the Cruz campaign said in a statement Saturday night.

Trump'south aides set expectations at rock bottom heading into Saturday'south contest, citing the state'south unfavorable demographics and a complicated process that empowers local party activists to vote on delegates.

Supporters in CO nonetheless said they were frustrated with the campaign'south chaotic and uncommunicative campaign, which failed to reach basic levels of competence.

"We could've had some things going, but the campaign decided to not keep resources here," Becky Mizel, a former Pueblo County GOP chair and Trump delegate candidate, told NBC News.

On Saturday, Trump backers passed out flyers at the conference site with official campaign slate of thirteen delegates and thirteen alternates accompanied by their three-digit no position on the 600-plus person ballot. Seven of the names, however, directed people to the incorrect no and one delegate'south title was misspelled. Other candidates didn't have errors on their slates.

In one case, an erroneous no corresponded with a Cruz supporter. A second flyer handed out by the Trump campaign contained four mismatched names and numbers.

Among the names listed incorrectly on both flyers: Becky Mizel.

It was the second major mistake concerning campaign materials this week. On Thursday, a Trump slate of three names in the seventh Congressional District conference contained two that weren't listed on the ballot. The campaign'south state director, Patrick Davis, said they failed to pay the required fees to qualify.

Trump'south campaign wasn't the only one who made mistakes, though. CO Republican chairman Steve House announced several corrections to the ballot from the stage, including multiple names that were on the ballot twice, none of which affected any candidate'south official slate. One Trump alternate, Jerome Parks, wasn't on the numbers-only ballot at #three hundred seventy-nine — instead the ballot listed #three hundred seventy-eight twice.

"They're not in there!" Trump supporter Karen Kasel said to herself in frustration as she tried to discover #three hundred seventy-nine on her ballot in the hallway.

There were also discrepancies between delegate guides posted to the state party'south website and printed materials distributed by the state GOP. Mizel, for example, was listed on a delegate list on the party website as no #six hundred ten, but a brochure from the state GOP listing delegates alphabetically slice off at #five hundred eighty-eight.

Trump campaign aide Alan Cobb accused the CO GOP of altering its delegate lists at different points, leaving them in the lurch as it changed, and threatened to dispute the results over its ballot inconsistencies.

"We'll do whatever it takes to defend the legitimacy of our support in Colorado," Cobb told NBC News. "Clearly there are some serious issues with the ballot and balloting.

A spokesman for the CO GOP said they were looking into the matter.

In another mix-up, the party'south Twitter account appeared to be hacked in the aftermath of the results, tweeting "We did it. #NeverTrump." A spokesman for the party said that their account had been taken over and the tweet wasn't authorized.

Cruz'south all-volunteer CO campaign distributed accurate slates not only on flyers, but also on shining orange t-shirts. Groups love Gun Owners of America that endorsed Cruz distributed their own materials backing the same slate.

Dustin Olson, a delegate whip for Cruz, manned a "persuasion team" in the halls of the arena. The heavily pro-Cruz crowd needed small convincing, Olson said, but he worked tough to create sure number one split the vote by supporting Cruz delegates who weren't on the campaign'south official slate.

Cruz personally addressed the state conference on Saturday while Trump campaign and OH Gov John Kasich supplied campaign surrogates on their behalf.

"It'south simple to speak about making America grand again, you can even print that on a baseball cap," Cruz said. "The genuine question is do you realize the principles and values that made America grand in the first place?"

Afterwards Cruz told NBC affiliate KUSA that Trump'south absence "illustrates that when it comes to the grassroots, Donald has a very tough time competing."

Speaking on behalf of Trump, policy adviser Stephen Miller devoted nearly all his remarks to recounting Americans who'd been killed by undocumented immigrants.

"The special interests in DC who have controlled our political process for forty years, they don't care about you, they don't care about your family, and they don't care about your security," Miller said.

NH Senator John Sununu represented Kasich, who he described as "tough," "conservative" and a "fighter" who was willing to get on his own party to balance the budget in the one thousand nine hundred ninety.

The CO results arrive as the race increasingly hinges on a complex war over delegate choice that requires foresight and grassroots organization to win.

Unlike Colorado, most of these fights are taking space in states where voters have already weighed in on how many delegates are bound to each candidate, but where the state party has a separate process for choosing the real delegates.

The results are crucial because most delegates are free to vote for any candidate they select in a contested conference that goes beyond the first ballot.

Several states held delegate choice events on Saturday, with Cruz'south campaign continuing his string of success in most cases but falling beautiful to a astonishment alliance between Trump and Kasich in one state.

In Iowa, Cruz installed eleven supportive delegates out of twelve slots available across four party meetings on Saturday, according to the Des Moines Register.

In Virginia's ninth Congressional District, which Trump won with forty-seven percent of the vote, Cruz supporters took two delegate slots to one for Trump.

In S Carolina, where all delegates are bound to Trump on the first ballot, Cruz secured three delegate seats out of six up for grabs in two districts on Saturday while Trump won just one. Two more were uncommitted.

In Michigan, however, Trump and Kasich supporters appeared to team up to deny Cruz any spots on the necessary conference committees that'll define rules and credentials for delegates. Trump supporters took five of eight slots, while Kasich supporters took the other three.

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