The enthusiasm from the record turnout during February’s S.C. GOP presidential primary has carried over to the election of state delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where another battle could take place.
Saturday was a difficult day for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Despite winning South Carolina’s GOP primary by ten percentage points in February, online news site Politico reports Trump allies lost five of the six available slots up for grabs in the Third and Seventh congressional districts on Saturday. While all 50 of the state’s delegates are pledged to support Trump on first ballot at the national GOP convention, party rules allow them to switch to another candidate if no candidate wins the required delegate majority and another ballot is needed.
With pundits questioning if GOP front-runner Donald Trump can reach the 1,237 delegates needed to lock up the nomination on the first ballot, the convention in Cleveland could end up being a free-for-all with delegates being released after early rounds of voting in July.
According to the State newspaper more than 190 S.C. Republican state delegates have announced intentions to run for 47 national convention seats — a number that’s expected to grow as delegate elections are held throughout the next month.
On Saturday, the delegate selections favored Texas US Sen. Ted Cruz, whose campaign had been more active in recruiting supporters to run in those districts as an alternative to Trump. That drew the frontrunner’s ire.
“I win a state in votes and then get non-representative delegates because they are offered all sorts of goodies by Cruz campaign. Bad system!” Trump tweeted.
Representatives of the three remaining GOP presidential candidates have been reaching out to SC delegates to vote for their supporters as month long national convention elections start Saturday with Republican congressional district conventions in Greenwood and Florence. Conventions in the state’s other five congressional districts will follow before the state Republican Party convention is held in Columbia on May 7.