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GOP candidates fight for unbound delegates in North Dakota

In Fargo, North Dakota, Republicans complete their state convention today by choosing 28 delegates for the national convention in July. That’s just one percent of the total delegates, but the presidential campaigns are competing hard for them. NewsHour’s Dan Bush joins Hari Sreenivasan via Skype from Fargo.

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  • HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR ANCHOR:

    In Fargo, North Dakota, Republicans complete their state convention today by choosing 28 delegates for the national convention in July. That's just one percent of the total delegates, but the presidential campaigns are competing hard for them. The Newshour's Dan Bush is in Fargo.

    Dan, this is a state, as you point out in your blog, that's voted Republican 10 times in the past. Suddenly, they're relevant. Why?

  • DAN BUSH, NEWSHOUR CORRESPONDENT:

    All of North Dakota's 28 delegates are unbound, which means that they can vote for whomever they like at the Republican National Convention, (INAUDIBLE) with a potential floor fight (ph) there. All the different candidates are sending their surrogates, or even in Ted Cruz's case, he showed up here himself to make his case for why the delegates should back them later this summer.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    So what was the closing argument that Ted Cruz made and Donald Trump's surrogate, Ben Carson, made?

  • DAN BUSH:

    Cruz basically talked about electability. He said, listen, if the Republican Party nominates Donald Trump, that's a train wreck, he called it. He said it would be pinning the general election if Clinton on a silver platter (ph).

    Carson really spoke more about Donald Trump's character, saying that he's gotten a chance to meet with him several times and said that he is the best person to lead the country economically and on national security as well.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    The people that you've talked to in North Dakota, the ones behind you, standing there making this decision, they don't have to declare whether they're going to vote for Cruz at the national convention, or Trump or Kasich, right?

  • DAN BUSH:

    That's correct, and actually an interesting development played out here a little bit earlier today where the state delegates to this convention here requested that all the national delegates come out and say ahead of time who it is that they plan to support, and the party insiders determined of that would not happen (ph). So the delegates again elected here today do not have to say who they're going to support in Cleveland later this year.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    All right, Dan Bush, thanks so much.

  • DAN BUSH:

    Thank you.

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