The byzantine system used by Illinois to pick delegates appears to have cost GOP front-runner Donald Trump, as two members of his slate with South Asian names ran far behind, allowing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) to each net an extra vote for the Republican National Convention.
The phenomenon, first noted by the Cook Political Report's David Wasserman, hit Trump in the Chicago suburbs and downstate Illinois. Delegates in Illinois are awarded when voters pick a candidate, then pick delegates who are representing him or her on the ballot. In the 6th Congressional District, a piece of the "collar counties" represented by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), two Trump delegates named Paul Minch and Barbara Kois won slots with more than 35,000 votes each. The third Trump delegate candidate, Nabi Fakroddin, got just 30,639 votes. That allowed Pat Brady, a Kasich delegate and former state party chairman, to secure the third slot.
In the downstate 13th District, Trump delegate Doug Hartmann won nearly 32,000 votes; two delegates for Cruz won nearly 31,000, securing the next slots. But Raja Sadiq, a Trump delegate, ran behind with 24,103 votes.
Reached at home Wednesday morning, Fakroddin declined an interview; Sadiq could not be reached. Neither would be the first to lose an election in Illinois because of apparent voter angst about what many perceive as foreign names. Thirty years ago, the Illinois Democratic Party watched its preferred nominees for lieutenant governor and secretary of state, George Sangmeister and Aurelia Pucinski, lose to supporters of Lyndon LaRouche named Mark Fairchild and Janice Hart.