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What the Pennsylvania Primary Results Mean for the Cruz Campaign

Eric Kayne for the Texas Tribune

Donald Trump had such a big win in Pennsylvania Tuesday night that several media outlets announced him the winner just moments after the polls closed. But, unlike other states, that big win didn’t keep Texas Senator Ted Cruz from claiming a victory – of sorts.

Pennsylvania had 71 delegates at stake in Tuesday night’s primary, and Trump’s big win netted him exactly 17 of them. The other 54? Voters picked 3 delegates in each of the state’s 18 congressional districts. But they weren’t picked based on the candidate who won that district, or even the state’s popular vote. Those 54 people were running just to be delegates. A vote for delegate Bob simply lets Bob go to the national convention in Cleveland – and vote for whomever he wants.

KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with KUT Senior Editor Ben Philpott about Sen. Ted Cruz's future as a GOP presidential candidate.

The Cruz campaign made sure to have candidates in every single Pennsylvania congressional district who plan on voting Cruz at the convention even if Trump won their district and state. And it looks like at least 16 of the delegates on Cruz’s delegate slate have won a trip to the convention. 

But after Tuesday night’s poor showing overall, the question is whether Cruz can keep Trump from getting the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination outright. Next week’s primary in Indiana may be the Texan's last stand, but not before a "major announcement" this afternoon at 3 p.m. – an event that some are speculating could be the Texas senator's announcement that his vice presidential candidate, as Politico suggests, could be former GOP candidate, Carly Fiorina.

Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.
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