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GOP Leaders Are Feuding as Donald Trump’s Convention Mayhem Looms

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Monday April 18, 2016 –  In July the Republicans will hold their nominating convention in Cleveland. And every week, to the delight of Democrats, the prospect of a bitter, party-destroying fight becomes a little more inevitable.

 Donald Trump has received more votes and won more elections than any other candidate. But his delegate count has not scaled with his vote totals, and that’s because he’s being out-maneuvered by Ted Cruz. In Colorado, Wyoming and elsewhere, the Cruz campaign has won the behind-the-scenes delegate battle.

The Inevitability of a brokered convention has already resulted in clashes within the Republican National Committee

Trump will not go quietly, however. He’s become more vocal in recent days, warning the RNC of the consequences they’ll face if they undermine him at the convention. “The Republican National Committee, they’d better get going,” Trump said over the weekend, “because I’ll tell you what: You’re going to have a rough July at the convention. You’d better get going, and you’d better straighten out the system because the people want their vote.” And this was after Trump published an op-ed last week in The Wall Street Journal, protesting the GOP’s byzantine process.

This escalating feud will only get worse. Despite his electoral victories, it’s increasingly unlikely that Trump will reach 1,237 delegates before the convention. Trump now has 744 delegates compared to 545 for Cruz. With 852 delegates remaining, Trump’s odds of avoiding a contested convention are shrinking every day, particularly in light of Cruz’s organizational advantage.

The tone of Trump’s campaign has shifted, a sign that he sees the writing on the wall. Nebulously bashing the “establishment” was always Trump’s shtick, but now he’s making a concerted effort to critique the whole “system.” “Look, I used to be the ultimate establishment person,” he said Saturday. “I was like the perfect person. I gave massive campaign contributions to everybody…But I saw the system, and the system is not working. And the system is all rigged, as far as the delegate stuff is going…it’s not fair to the people…It’s a bad system, it’s a dirty system, and we’re going to do something about it.”

To be clear: Trump doesn’t give a damn about the justness of the system; he’s just whining about losing the ground game battle against Cruz. Still, though, he has a point, and he’s clearly going to make this as painful as possible for the GOP.

Trump’s new campaign manager, Paul Manafort, announced Sunday that “We will be filing protests. Missouri, we’ll be filing protests. Colorado, we’re going to be filing protests…You saw it last week, where the voters were left out of the process…The Cruz campaign, even in the closed systems like Colorado, like Missouri, they’re not playing by their own rules.”

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