Nineteen of Cruz’s slate of 20 delegates were picked for the Republican national convention, meaning that at least 19 out of the 23 delegates Maine will send to the convention in Cleveland will be Cruz supporters — which would benefit the Texas senator if the Republican presidential-selection process goes to multiple ballots.Back in March, Cruz won Maine’s caucus contest, grabbing 12 pledged delegates — versus nine for Donald Trump and two for John Kasich. The delegates who were chosen in Maine are bound to reflect that allocation on the first ballot of voting.
But if no presidential candidate wins a majority of the 2,472 delegates, then many of these reps would be free to support the candidate of their choice after a first round of voting at the convention.
Trump and his supporters have called this delegate-selection process “rigged,” because it doesn’t reflect the will of voters. Their argument: If Trump won nine of 23 delegates in Maine, shouldn’t those nine be loyal to Trump on every round of voting?
But the Republican National Committee maintains that the presidential nominee is chosen by the delegates — not the voters.
“So the voters empower the delegates. But ultimately, the delegates who, in most cases are bound by the outcome of caucuses and primaries and conventions, make the decisions at the conventions,” RNC Chair Reince Priebus said on “Meet the Press” earlier this month.
This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com.