Corrections & Clarifications: An earlier version of this post contained an incorrect date for the New York primary.
Donald Trump is angry. Indignant, even.
At least when it comes to states where Ted Cruz is pulling ahead, especially Colorado.
Anderson Cooper pressed Trump at the CNN town hall Tuesday about his ground game (or lack thereof) in the Centennial State, where Cruz won 34 of the state's Republican delegates. But Trump insisted it wasn't his fault and called the Texas senator's win the latest in a series of political "shenanigans."
"Didn't you just get outplayed on the ground?" Cooper asked.
"No, I don't think so," Trump said." He added: "We're really way up in votes, in terms of the voters ... but the Colorado thing was very unfair."
Colorado's GOP leaders canceled the state party's straw poll for March 1 for a convention where the delegates were free to pledge for any candidate on the ballot, rather than being bound by the poll results. It was a controversial decision that experts said would likely deter candidates from campaigning ardently in the state, The Denver Post reported.
In the days following the Colorado convention, the Republican front-runner accused the GOP leadership of conspiring to stop him from winning the nomination. Trump called the GOP primary elections a "dirty trick" at a rally Tuesday in New York, referring to the weight placed on delegates.
At the town hall, Trump went on to say the same about the Republican contest in Louisiana, where he won the popular vote with 41.4% over Cruz's 37.8%. Both candidates received 18 delegates.
But Cooper pressed Trump on the issue, pointing to his disorganized efforts in Colorado. Trump hired his first paid staffer in the state the week before the results. Cruz, who had staffers courting delegates as early as Super Tuesday, had already secured delegates in some congressional districts.
Trump supporters passed out fliers at the convention site Saturday with the official campaign slate of 13 delegates and their alternates, only to discover later that the slate had multiple errors, CNN reported. The other candidates managed to keep their slates error-free.
Meanwhile, Trump spent the weekend in New York, which holds its primary April 19. New York has 95 delegates up for grabs versus Colorado's 34. It's still more than the 42 at stake in Wisconsin, where Cruz won 36 of the delegates to Trump's six.
But, despite Trump's complaints, his strategy on the ground matters. Nate Silver's assessment is that while Trump's strategy to prioritize New York makes sense, he failed to focus enough on states with fewer delegates and compromised his steady lead. And he based part of his evaluation on a panel of delegate "experts" who predicted Trump wouldn't exceed the 1,237 delegates needed, even with better outcomes in Wisconsin and Colorado.
There will be opportunities down the line in states like California for him to earn more delegates than our panel projected. But the math is close enough that disregarding Colorado was probably a big mistake. Trump and those watching this delegate fight shouldn’t kid themselves: Every delegate matters.