Trump supporters becoming paranoid about delegate selection in Maryland
The threat of Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas deploying double-agent delegates to win a contested Republican convention this summer has Donald Trump supporters in Maryland suspiciously eyeing the state’s delegate list and finding potential traitors on the ballot.When campaigns get this buzzed by the competition they are likely to make rash decisions that harm their own camp. It also leaves them open to whispers about the delegates they think support them and they wind up alienating them and others.
A top suspect is Joeylynn Hough, a Trump delegate who is the wife of state Sen. Michael Hough.
Mr. Hough is a Cruz delegate and serves as chairman of the Cruz campaign in Maryland.
“I’m suspicious of her,” said conservative activist Sue Payne, a Trump supporter who lives in Washington’s Maryland suburbs. “I and others are very suspicious about who is representing Trump. He’s being ill-served by this group in Maryland.”
Concerns have spread across the country that the Cruz campaign is gaming the rules and recruiting double-agent delegates who are bound to the front-running Mr. Trump but loyal to Mr. Cruz and ready to switch allegiance if the nomination in July goes to multiple ballots.
The strategy was bolstered by the #NeverTrump effort as the Republican Party establishment threw support behind Mr. Cruz as their last hope to stop the billionaire businessman from securing the nomination before Cleveland.
The fear is acute in Maryland, whose voters go to the polls Tuesday. The state’s Republicans are in the unusual position this year of casting primary votes that could matter.
Maryland’s small size and late primary typically render it inconsequential in picking the party’s presidential nominee. But this year, every state and every delegate matters, with the hunt still hot for the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination.
Mr. Trump is expected to win the majority of Maryland’s 38 delegates. He leads with 41 percent, followed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 26 percent and Mr. Cruz at 24 percent in the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls in the state.