Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is banking on a contested convention come July to earn the party's nomination, guaranteeing in a new radio interview that none of the contenders in the race will earn the required number of delegates before then.
"We are headed to a contested convention. At this point nobody is getting 1,237," Cruz predicted in a Wednesday interview with CBS Radio in Philadelphia. Cruz was referring to the number of delegates needed to lock down the Republican nomination before the party's July convention in Cleveland.
The Texas senator pointed out that while "Donald is going to talk all the time about other folks not getting to 1237, he's not getting there either."
"None of us," Cruz repeated, "are getting to 1,237."
After Trump's massive win in New York Tuesday night, the Manhattan billionaire has 844 delegates under his belt, while Cruz trails behind by nearly 300 delegates. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who dropped out of the White House race last month, gained 167 delegates before he suspended his campaign. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has 146.
Cruz promised that the delegate count would remain close after the upcoming primaries, adding that he would not be dropping his bid before Cleveland.
"I'm going to have to have a ton of delegates, Donald is going to have a ton of delegates," he said. "And it is going to be a battle in Cleveland to see who can earn a majority of delegates that have been elected by the people."
During a Tuesday night victory speech at Trump Tower, Trump declared Cruz "just about mathematically eliminated" from the primary election and concluded that "we don't have much of a race anymore."
He repeated the line a few hours later, tweeting out a message to his followers on Wednesday that Cruz was just a "spoiler" in the GOP primary:
Despite Trump's pledged delegate lead, Cruz's own count has slowly crept up behind the business mogul, with a strategy tailored to cull delegate slots where he can at state conventions. So far, Cruz has advanced his cause with delegate wins in places like Utah, North Dakota, Wyoming, and South Carolina.
Pennsylvania, where Cruz is campaigning Wednesday and Thursday, will vote on Tuesday, April 26. The state will be one of five that cast their ballots on that day.