Cruz seeks support from California

BURLINGAME (California) • United States presidential candidate Ted Cruz has made a plea to the California Republican Party to line up behind him in the state's June primary in his uphill battle to stop front runner Donald Trump from grabbing the nomination.

At the same party convention that was the backdrop for chaotic protests against Mr Trump on Friday, Mr Cruz on Saturday tried to woo party members with support for their long-time issues, such as lower taxes and a harder line on immigration.

Former California governor Pete Wilson gave Mr Cruz his endorsement as he introduced the Texas senator.

Mr Cruz received more applause at the convention than either Mr Trump or third-place candidate Ohio Governor John Kasich, who also spoke on Friday.

"If we're fractured and we're divided, Hillary Clinton wins and the campaign is lost," he said, referring to the Democratic Party's front-runner in the Nov 8 election for the White House.

Now mathematically eliminated from securing the nomination on the first ballot at the Cleveland party convention in July, Mr Cruz aims to stop Mr Trump from receiving the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination outright, forcing a contested convention.

However, the prospect of his being able to do so has grown increasingly slim.

Mr Trump has continued to notch up wins in the nation's nominating contests, including a five-state sweep in contests last Tuesday.

Mr Cruz has downplayed the severity of the losses and, in his speech on Saturday, looked forward to upcoming contests, which he has said will put him on the path to thwarting Mr Trump.

"California is going to decide this Republican primary," he said, referring to the state's June 7 contest.

Mr Cruz also hopes to slow Mr Trump's march toward the nomination in Indiana's primary tomorrow (Wednesday morning, Singapore time). The state awards its 57 delegates on a winner-take-all basis by congressional district, possibly granting him a windfall of pledged delegates.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2016, with the headline 'Cruz seeks support from California'. Print Edition | Subscribe