At the Colorado state convention on Saturday, as Republicans met to elect 13 delegates and 13 alternates to the national convention in Cleveland, the Donald Trump campaign inadvertently guided its supporters to vote for a delegate pledged to support Ted Cruz.
With more than 600 candidates on the ballot, voting was set to take place by Scantron, with state convention delegates listed in circles next to the number of their choice. There were no names on the ballot.
All three presidential campaigns – those of Cruz, Trump and John Kasich – handed out sample ballots, providing a slate of names with the number to each candidate.
The problem for the Trump campaign was that they put out sample ballots featuring wrong numbers. The campaign first put out a sample ballot with wrong numbers for seven delegates. That was corrected, but there were still four numbers wrong.
One of the four uncorrected errors could have led Trump voters to cast their ballots for a candidate who is in fact pledged to support Cruz.
It was yet another example of the Trump campaign, which hired its current state director on Tuesday, struggling to organize in Colorado.
Alan Cobb, a top operative from the campaign, told the Guardian “our numbers were correct at the time of printing” and suggested the issue lay with the state party making constant revisions to the delegate order.
He noted though that “it’s unlikely to make any difference in the final result”. A state party spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
Both Kasich and Cruz had every number on their respective slates correct and Cruz, who came to address the gathering in person, even had his delegate slate displayed behind him on a big screen while on stage.
Furthermore, at a congressional district convention on Thursday, the Trump campaign handed out slate cards that featured two candidates who were not listed on the ballot.
Neither Kasich nor Trump attended the gathering in a state that has long been a stronghold for Cruz, a senator from Texas.
The Trump campaign has long been pessimistic about its chances in Colorado. The Kasich campaign has often promoted its delegates on an “open convention slate”, instead of using the Ohio governor’s name on its material.
In the seven congressional district conventions held in the state over the past week, Cruz won all 21 delegates at stake.
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