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Carly Fiorina could help Ted Cruz in California, where she ran for Senate in 2010

But the state's primary rules complicate things

(CNN) —  

Ted Cruz’s highly unusual move announcing that he would name Carly Fiorina as his running mate certainly brought him a major splash of attention this week. But any predictions about how much Fiorina can help him in the complex California primary on June 7 are, at best, a wild guess.

Cruz was looking to inject some fire and flash into his candidacy with the Fiorina pick as Donald Trump edges closer to the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the nomination outright.

But Cruz is also clearly hoping that Fiorina will help him pick up delegates in California—the place where he must prevent Trump from crossing that critical threshold to become the Republican nominee before the conventions in July.

Find your presidential match with the 2016 Candidate Matchmaker

Fiorina, the former Hewlett Packard Chief Executive who lived for a time in Palo Alto, is liked by Republican voters here. But she demonstrated the limits of her appeal in the Golden State during her unsuccessful challenge to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer in 2010. Shortly after that defeat—by a 10-point margin—Fiorina moved from California to Lorton, Virginia, where she now lives and votes.

01:50 - Source: CNN
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