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Kasich and Cruz quietly work to persuade delegates to break with GOP voters in a contested convention. How does a persons vote fight this kind of activity? Does this show both parties could care less about who YOU want and is it really more who THEY want? Do you think the beltway is up for grabs or is it really just more of the same no matter how the country votes? What kind of 'threat' is Trump? Is he too just another "player"? Who controls the US voting system, certain special interest inside/outside the US? What do we really know and HOW can any 'party' be trusted today since both have failed? Are these steps being taken proper in your opinion? Who has the answers? Article When South Dakota's Republican activists convened in Pierre to pick their delegates to the Republican National Convention, they got an unexpected visitor. Merle Madrid, senior aide to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, had flown in from Columbus to make an appeal: If the convention fails to elect front-runner Donald Trump on the first ballot, consider Kasich on the second — even if the state’s Republican voters sent them there to back Trump or Ted Cruz. Madrid was polite and earnest, but, according to interviews with 17 of the state’s 29 delegates, he came up empty. "Kasich will not get my vote no matter what he does. That ain’t gonna happen," said delegate Allen Unruh, a Sioux Falls chiropractor and tea party activist. Madrid’s visit to South Dakota on Saturday marked one of the earliest signs that the shadow campaign for the Republican nomination has begun. Kasich and Cruz are scrambling to secure commitments from bound delegates to break off on a second ballot and vote against Trump. In many cases, that means asking delegates to buck Republican primary voters in the name of settling on a nominee. The fight will heat up in April, when a slew of states — including Arizona, Colorado and North Dakota — begin selecting their own slates of delegates, using methods ranging from statewide and congressional district conventions to meetings of state party leaders to county-level votes or caucuses. Republicans Delegates Remaining: 944 Delegates D. Trump 739 T. Cruz 465 M. Rubio 166 J. Kasich 143 Uncommitted 9 B. Carson 8 1,237 Delegates Needed for Nomination Full Delegate Tracker Updated: 03/24/16 05:27 PM EDT | Source: AP | Photo Credit: AP/Getty But if Madrid’s results are any indication, it’s not Kasich who threatens to steal Trump’s South Dakota delegates in Cleveland — it’s Cruz. "I’m not a Kasich fan. I would vote for him over a Democrat; however, I think there’s not a lot of difference between him and a Democrat," said Florence Thompson, a delegate from Caputa who described herself as a "raving conservative." Added Dana Randall, South Dakota's national Republican committeeman and another delegate, "I’m not anti-John Kasich, but I don’t think [Madrid] swung one vote either way." South Dakota's delegation is top-heavy with supporters of Cruz, the Texas senator whose ideological purity has resonated in this deeply conservative Midwestern state. Most delegates expect South Dakota to devolve into a slugfest between Cruz and Trump, and Cruz's ultraconservative identity gives him an early edge. Madrid, who joined Kasich in South Dakota last year on a tour supporting a federal balanced budget amendment, said he was the natural choice to return to meet with the delegates. Though he acknowledged the tough, pro-Cruz audience, Madrid said proactively building relationships with delegates could pay dividends down the road — especially in states like South Dakota, often overlooked during GOP primaries and seldom fought-over in general elections. “As we head toward Cleveland, I think it’s clear that this is going to be a convention unlike any other, and states that have perhaps been taken for granted in the past could be delegates that matter a great deal to the candidates,” Madrid said. “The opportunity to spend some time in the state meeting with delegates was worthwhile and could be advantageous down the road.” RNC meets with conservatives on Trump convention fight By Alex Isenstadt He said Kasich’s team is likely to make similar forays into North Dakota or New Mexico with the same goal. But South Dakota is in an unusual position because over the weekend it became one of the first states to name its full slate of convention delegates — a move that immediately plunged it into a three-way tug of war among the remaining presidential candidates. Trump and Cruz opted against sending their own envoys into the South Dakota fray. But all three campaigns have been mobilizing staff and preparing for a nationwide organizing battle to ensure that their own loyalists win elections to become delegates to the convention. The campaign with the most success in this shadow campaign is likely to have an edge should the national convention become a once-in-a-generation floor fight among delegates. For now, Cruz can take heart that even if South Dakota votes for Trump in June — binding nearly all 29 delegates to back the New York billionaire on the first ballot — the delegates signaled they're with him at heart. "I have a preference for Cruz," said Matt Bruner, a Republican precinct chairman from White. "Right now, seeing Kasich in there — Kasich is in the race for nothing other than a hope and prayer. ... It's very, very much a Cruz delegation." The Cruz edge in South Dakota could be significant if Trump scores a primary win there on June 7. State party procedures require 26 of the state's 29 delegates to vote for the popular vote-getter on the first ballot in Cleveland. All 26 delegates signed a legally binding oath to fulfill that responsibility on Saturday. But Trump could find himself in a hole in a contested convention if members of the South Dakota delegation — and others around the country — begin abandoning him. "There’s a strong resistance to Trump from a number of these people," said Lance Russell, a delegate and state representative from Hot Springs. Many in the delegation are refraining from endorsements for now. The state's governor, Dennis Daugaard, will chair the delegation to Cleveland, and his wife, Linda, is another delegate. Neither has endorsed a candidate in the contest. State GOP Chairwoman Pam Roberts, another delegate, is also neutral. 2016 GOP elites line up behind Ted Cruz By Eli Stokols "Most of the people in the room felt that it was not going to be a convention where the candidate would be decided. They are all ready — they’re prepared to do their duty if it does go to a second vote," Roberts said. Most of South Dakota's delegates are current or former state lawmakers, tight with party insiders. Others are local businessmen and women active in Republican Party politics. Several told POLITICO they intend to keep their leanings quiet until a contested convention and make strategic decisions based on the unpredictable results of early balloting. For example, in a contested convention, candidates could choose to name running mates — or join forces and run together — which would change the delegates' calculus. “I’m supporting Ted Cruz, but I’m going to support on the first ballot whoever the citizens of South Dakota support in the Republican primary. Beyond that, we’re gonna have to look at what the situation is and what kind of alliances can be drawn and how can the votes be structured to get somebody the nomination and what’s gonna unify the party," said John Teupel, a former state lawmaker and member of the delegation. Other delegates still making up their minds: state Rep. Jim Bolin; state Rep. Steve Haugaard; former Senate president pro tempore Bob Gray; Jason Glodt, a lawyer, lobbyist and onetime adviser to Mike Rounds. State Rep. Isaac Latterell said he is “not a Kasich fan” and favors Cruz, but he’s open to surveying the situation if a second ballot becomes necessary. Roger Meyer, a former Yankton County GOP chairman, said his only criterion for a second-ballot choice is someone who can "beat the Democrats." Though that's a pitch tailor-made for Kasich — who has long contended that he's the only candidate remaining who tops Hillarious Clinton in general election polling — Meyer stopped short of backing the governor. Nancy Neff, a Republican activist from Sioux Falls, said she intends to support the statewide winner on subsequent ballots, not just the first. "I don’t know that I’ve actually come down to that decision yet," said David Wheeler, a delegate from Huron. "For me, a second ballot — I’m weighing a lot of different factors. Who I prefer to be the candidate but also who’s more likely to win the general election. What is the outcome on the future of the Republican Party. I could see, depending on how those different values line up in July — any one of the candidates." But where delegates expressed clear preferences, they were for Cruz every time. "My intention, if it does go beyond a first ballot, at this point I would be supporting Ted Cruz," said Russell, the Hot Springs representative. "I’ve been a contributor to the campaign already. I’ve had communication from them."