Ted Cruz in the Middle of the Race

Ted Cruz in the Middle of the Race



Ted Cruz is found in the middle the race among all of the candidates, based on a recently-released NBC-Wall Street Journal poll. He is also in the middle among his party rivals Donald Trump and John Kasich. Poll results released on April 18, 2016, show good news-bad news for all the candidates, but are of no major help to Cruz.

Analysis of the questions asked, and the results obtained, reveal that people like Cruz better than that do Trump. But the same poll reflects that Cruz is not ahead with the voters. Yet, hypothetically, he is a better choice to beat Hillary Clinton than Trump, who was seen losing to her. The apparent contradiction lies in the fact that voters view Trump as an iconoclast, but less electable. They like what he says, but not what he might bring to the table.

CruzFor the same reason, the poll reflects voter satisfaction with Kasich, and even shows that in a head-to-head contest with Clinton, he might beat her. He is last in the field of the Republican convention delegate count behind Cruz and Trump, so this possible match-up seems remote.

The poll was conducted between April 10-14, 2016. Cruz had an almost 50 percent unfavorable rating. He was outdone by Clinton who held a 56 percent unfavorable rating. Leading the pack was Trump with a 65 percent negative view. Among all of the candidates in both parties, Cruz is in the middle, sandwiched between the two Democrats. Kasich has the best numbers on the concept of net favorability. The polling reflects a margin of error of 3.1 points in either direction.

The New York primary on April 19, 2016, will send 95 elected delegates to the Republican primary in Cleveland this summer. Voters do not elect the candidates directly. They elect individuals that have agreed to support a given candidate. The delegates are allocated by congressional district. This is where Cruz has a big advantage over the current frontrunner Trump.

The Donald, as the tabloids in New York, began calling Trump years ago, has been complaining that the party rules are rigged. This complaint is based more on Cruz’ grassroots organizational strengths. A county like the Bronx has many Democrat strongholds with few Republican enrollees. Cruz makes the effort in New York, as he has elsewhere, to concentrate in these districts. It is easier to win a congressional district majority where few Republican enrollees live than in a place like Staten Island, thousands can live in a congressional district. This is what has been keeping Cruz alive throughout the primary season; winning numbers in the districts, not overall in the state. The Donald is good at the big picture but lacks detailed organization.

The current delegate count puts Trump in the lead with 756, Kasich at 144, and Cruz in the middle of the race at 544. In all, the first candidate to get 1237 delegates is the presumptive Republican nominee. Cruz is trying his best to avoid letting Trump make this winning total before the convention. Party rules, which vary by state, allow convention delegates to vote for whom they wish on the second convention ballot. This is the Cruz strategy for winning.

The New York primary is a closed one. As with the Democrats, only voters that have enrolled as a Republican Party member can vote. There is also no voter-day registration as in many states; all the paperwork had to have been filed by last year for a party enrollment under New York’s election laws.

New York State sends the fourth largest continent of delegates to the convention. Various polls predict a big win for Trump, as this is his home state. Cruz had been working hard on the street level to ensure that he carries off delegates to show both progress and in order to move out of being stuck in the middle of things. Voting places in New York are open from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Actual results will not be made known until the vote is certified within the next two weeks. Certification includes vote tally confirmation and the counting of absentee ballots.

By Bob Reinhard
Edited by Cathy Milne


NBC News: Unpopularity Contest: Poll Shows Grim Outlook for 2016 Winner
Wall Street Journal: Fight Over Delegate Rules Escalates for Both Parties
GOP: Official Site: RNC’s 2016 Presidential Primary Estimated Delegate Count
Consolidated Laws of the State of New York: Election Law
The Green Papers: “The Rules of the Republican Party” adopted by the RNC September 2012 amended 8 August 2014

All Photos Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License