Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ted Cruz drops out after Indiana loss.

Ted Cruz's official senate portrait. 

After another loss in the Indiana Primary, Ted Cruz has dropped out of the Republican Primary race. This is huge news and I am going to go through why his campaign failed. Before I do I will talk about the Democrat side of things. As of this writing Indiana has been called for Bernie Sanders. It's clear the the Democratic race is probably going to convention even though Sanders doesn't really have much of a chance to win. Winning Indiana is a hollow victory at best because Hillary Clinton still has a major lead. Plus, his victory wasn't enough because Indiana's Democratic race rewards delegates proportionately, unlike the Republican race where it is winner take all at the state and congressional level. 

As for the Republican race, Donald Trump has basically won the race with Cruz dropping out. Sure John Kasich is still technically in the race but he's 4th place in delegates, still behind Marco Rubio who dropped out after Florida. Kasich has even less of a path to victory then Cruz because he was mathematically eliminated a long time ago. 

So where did it all go wrong for Ted Cruz? The real question is where did it ever go right for Cruz? Had it been any other year, Cruz would have never made it as far as he did but he managed to tap into some of the anger against the establishment. He also had Donald Trump's help in destroying his major competition like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush. But it's clear to me that Ted Cruz made some massive mistakes. Here's the list:

1. Ted Cruz won Iowa but he did it through unsavory means. When Ben Carson announced that he was leaving the state to campaign elsewhere, Ted Cruz or his staff announced that Ben Carson was dropping out of the race entirely, which he didn't actually do until long after the Iowa caucuses. This was the first incident showing Cruz's dishonesty. 

2. He turned against Donald Trump at a critical point of the election. Doing so was a mistake. Donald Trump is at his best when his opponents are attacking him. When the Trump/Cruz bromance ended, Trump finally unleashed his attacks on Cruz, which probably hurt him dearly. Especially the one about Ted Cruz being a Canadian, which was never properly addressed. For an issue that would have definitely caused problems for Cruz if he had been the candidate.

3. He never properly addressed the allegations that he was involved in a sex scandal. Though the scandal has never been proven, Cruz took way too long to forcibly deny the allegations and, tellingly, he never sued the National Enquirer for the report. Though the story died, people still remembered it and wondered why it had never been resolved. I personally thought that the media was saving the story for if Cruz was the candidate, which would have handed the election to the Democrats. 

4. Ted Cruz, to his eternal shame, blamed Donald Trump for the riots that shut down a rally in Chicago. That was the mainstream media's narrative as well, but the violence that happened there was due largely to communist and anarchist liberals. It was the perfect moment for Cruz to stand with his fellow Republican and denounce everything wrong with the American left today, but he failed to do so. This was the point where I could no longer support Ted Cruz.

5. He allied himself with Glen Beck, who has lost his mind. Beck's antics during this election turned me off to Ted Cruz as he was saying that Cruz was anointed by God himself to win. He went as far as fasting to help Cruz and prayed for him all the time. For anyone who isn't an evangelical Christian, and even for many of them, this behavior was rather frightening. 

6. Cruz's antics in the last few days of the campaign really hurt him. Joining forces with John Kasich pretty much validated Trump's theory that the GOP was working to scam him out of the candidacy. Trump had been railing on that theory for quite some time and it was working for him, but when Cruz and Kasich teamed up, it redoubled the attacks effectiveness. Then Cruz picked Carly Fiorina as a VP when he really had no chance of winning. And in the last days he was getting into it with random Trump fans and even told a 12 year old kid that he needed to be spanked. 

7. Cruz never should have allied himself with the Never Trump crowd. Cruz was always going to have problems with expanding his base of support but trying to unite the anti-Trump vote backfired against him. Cruz was an outsider candidate which was suddenly getting endorsements from people like Jeb Bush, who represented everything his fans hated about the GOP. Worst of all, Cruz's candidacy switched tactics. Instead of telling voters why they should vote for him, he just focused on why they shouldn't vote for Trump. That obviously didn't work. Sure he got the Never Trump crowd, but he was never able to peel away enough voters to help himself win. And it didn't help that Cruz was repeating the same attacks that the media was making against Trump, hurting most of his credibility. 

So what happens next? With Cruz out of the race, Donald Trump has won the candidacy. Kasich won't be able to stop his momentum and unless something crazy happens, Trump has won. I am expecting that Trump will try and mend some of the bridges he has burned. He will reach out to the GOP and convince them to work with him. And then he will start targeting Hillary Clinton exclusively. I, for one, can't wait! 

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