- The Washington Times - Friday, March 4, 2016

Rep. Mark Meadows believes there’s still time for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to claim the Republican nomination although he’s trailing businessman Donald Trump in delegate votes and has a narrow path to the nomination.

“I’m still holding out hope my guy can win,” Mr. Meadows told The Washington Times at the Conservative Political Action Conference at Maryland’s National Harbor on Friday.

Mr. Cruz won his home state of Texas decidedly against Mr. Trump and claimed victories in Oklahoma and Alaska on Super Tuesday. He’s primed to do well Saturday in closed contests of Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Maine, where only Republicans are allowed to cast ballots.

Mr. Cruz has galvanized grass-roots conservatives and does better in closed primaries than his rival Mr. Trump, who is winning in open contests — partly by getting more independent and Democratic votes.

Currently, Mr. Trump has 319 delegates, to 226 for Mr. Cruz and 110 for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. If Mr. Trump is victorious in the winner-take-all states of Florida and Ohio, he would be the overwhelming favorite to win the nomination.

Still, Mr. Meadows believes the fractured Republican Party will rally around his candidate, with several more contests yet to come.

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“What we see is every time there is an election you have different candidates you have different camps,” Mr. Meadows said. “What we’re not fractured on is the fact that everybody should have an opportunity to succeed and we shouldn’t be picking winners and losers.

“When we come together around that message ultimately the candidate that embraces that will get other people to come and rally around for support so I don’t know if we’re necessarily fractured but I do believe we’ll see a big difference in the days to come,” he said.

• Kelly Riddell can be reached at kriddell@washingtontimes.com.

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