Two Trump delegates with foreign-sounding (i.e., Muslim) names failed to make the top three spots during last night’s Illinois primary, despite overwhelming Trump support in the districts they represented.
The state has one of the most complex delegate allotment schemes in the country. Rather than receiving just one delegate per electoral district, the Illinois primary provides three delegates per electoral district. That means that Illinois has 54 delegates who have already pledged to a presidential candidate to draw from its 18 electoral districts. And following the results of the primary, the first place candidate, is awarded another 15 delegates during the national convention.
The results were further proof of Trump’s pandering to prejudice in his run for the Republican nomination. The two candidates, Nabi Fakroddin and Raja Sadiq, prevented Trump from winning even more candidates in Illinois. The drop in support for the two was notable because Trump delegates won in the third and sixth districts. In the sixth district, Paul Minch won the district with 35,435 votes while Barbara Kois got 35,120 votes. But Fakroddin finished sixth with 5,000 fewer votes, despite running as a Trump delegate. That allowed a John Kasich supporter to take the third place spot, giving the Ohio governor an extra delegate.
The same took place with Sadiq in the third district. He should have finished somewhere in the top three, again, given that Trump won the state. But he also finished in sixth place, with 25 percent fewer votes than Doug Hartmann, the Trump candidate who won. Ted Cruz supporters took second, third and fourth place there. Even the fifth place finisher, Toni Gauen, also a Trump delegate, got 4,000 more votes than Sadiq.
While the loss of a couple delegates won’t hurt Trump as he bulldozes his way to the Republican nomination, the virulent form of Islamophobia he has espoused likely played a roll in the results for Fakroddin and Sadiq. Trump’s supporters are among the most hostile to Muslims. Some 67 percent hold unfavorable views of American Muslims, while 87 percent said they support his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country.
It’s unlikely that this phenomenon will repeat itself, simply because there aren’t many Muslims supporting Trump. But if the Republican frontrunner’s targeting of other minorities (Mexicans, Hispanics, African Americans, women) continues, Trump delegates with non-white names could see themselves losing primary races due to the same man they represent. In that case, it would be perhaps the only time Trump’s overt appeals to white nationalism haven’t helped his campaign in some way.