An attempt by the New Hampshire Republican party to limit Donald Trump’s influence in a potential contested convention was halted Monday, when the state chair canceled a controversial online vote for positions on crucial committees just minutes after the voting deadline. In an email obtained by the Guardian, party chair Jennifer Horn said that although all 23 of the state’s delegates to the Republican National Convention participated in the vote, she was canceling it “in the interest of full transparency”. Instead, she summoned a delegates-only meeting in Concord on Friday, in which those unable to attend could participate via conference call. Initially, in an email sent out Saturday night, the state party’s executive director proposed a slate for the eight slots on convention committees reserved for New Hampshire delegates at the Republican gathering in Cleveland in July. The proposed slate included two supporters apiece of John Kasich, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz and one supporter of Marco Rubio. The eighth slot was left vacant.
Trump won overwhelmingly in the Granite State’s February primary, with 35% of the vote. His nearest competitor, John Kasich, only received 15% in what was then the first primary in the country. Under New Hampshire’s relatively proportional rules, by which any candidate who gets more than 10% of the vote receives delegates, Trump was awarded 11 of the state’s 23 delegates.
Since then, the well-organized Cruz campaign has picked up stray delegates in other states that Trump won, such as Louisiana, and swept local contests in Wyoming and Colorado.
In contrast, Trump’s campaign spent weeks in disarray, its manager charged with battery against a reporter and ballot errors common at the local level. The businessman brought on a veteran of backroom politics, Paul Manafort, to take over his campaign’s efforts to secure the 1,237 delegates needed for the nomination.