Saturday, March 5, 2016

Ted Cruz Is Beating Hillary and Trump Ain't

A very good Facebook friend is a Cruz fan.  Bless her heart, she is STILL convinced that Ted Cruz-mania is going to sweep the nation, put he and Heidi in the White House and the entire nation will suddenly start going to church.  Or something.  She posted the above graphic as "proof" that Ted Cruz can beat Hillary and Trump can't.  Cruz's rolling poll has him beating Hillary by 1.5 points and Hillary beating Trump by 3.4 points.  Forget for a moment that she didn't go into the methodology showing the oversampling of Democrats.  Forget for a moment that both are generally within the margin of error of the polls.  And ABSOLUTELY forget that Sanders is actually beating Cruz in the same match up by 10 points, and only beating Donald by 8.  It is a great chance to finally put this ridiculous argument out of it's misery.  I commented on her post the following and added links and charts here.

The error of this rolling total of polls demonstrating that Cruz is better equipped to go against Hillary that Trump can be addressed 3 ways.
First, Ted Cruz's approval ratings are LOWER than Trumps (33% to 36%) and both are above 50% in negatives. But unlike Trump 1/5th of the nation have NO opinion of Cruz because they have no idea who he is. Trump has less than 5% undecideds.  As with Sarah Palin, Cruz does not have the cash or the media power to stop the branding of him as a nerdy, bible thumping liar to gain those undecideds.  This is ALREADY the mainstream chant against him - whether it is deserved or not. As you see from the chart here - Donald Trump is substantially unchanged in both approvals (dark) and disapprovals (red) for months. However, Cruz's negatives (red) are STILL trending up dramatically as undecideds decide. This makes sense. The general electorate while considering themselves Christian are NOT "religious." Trump has been in American homes via TV for 30 years, while Cruz is branding HIMSELF (with the help of mad man Glenn Beck) as someone "called by God" to bring righteousness back to America. This scares the crap (excuse my expression) to the average American. It sounds like a religious jihad.  No sane person would think 20% of voters who have NO OPINION would suddenly think a Harvard lawyer who has the charm of an IRS investigator would be able to get favorable air time from a secular media that already despises his politics. Those negatives will continue to rise unless he changes his persona., Ted has already demonstrated that he can not win those who are the MOST ideologically similar to him having DROPPED in the past month in approval with GOP audiences.  How does he win independent and Democrat voters?  Trump continues to rise (43%) and Rubio (18.8%) has overtaken Cruz (16.8%). He isn't winning in deep south states like Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia which which all have 70%+ evangelical voters. Trump averaged 11% MORE born again voters than Cruz in just those three states.  And that still isn't Ted's biggest problem. 

While Ted is consistently edging Trump by 1% in "Very Conservative" votes, Trump is winning "somewhat conservatives" and "moderates" (which represent the majority of the party) by 64%.  This is important because while most states thus far are 40% Very Conservative, the Somewhat Conservatives make up 43% and the Moderates 17%.  As you can see in the spreadsheet here, Cruz is loosing over 14% of the voters to Trump in the areas of the party that account for 60% of the voters.

How does he compensate for this when Cruz already spent $35,000 per delegate as opposed to Trumps $4,000 per delegate on Super Tuesday?  Even in Texas Ted had the LOWEST winning percentage in his home state in 108 years. (Romney won MA by 71% in 2012).  This is supposed to be your STRONGEST showing.  But Cruz is not appealing to any except those who are caught up in his evangelical fervor or Trump-phobia.  He simply can't raise enough money to compete for those votes compared to Trump.  And that is before we consider that the GOP engineered the 2016 election for Jeb, so moderate and blue states actually give a disproportionate amount of delegates to the winner of blue states instead of the vote splits we saw Super Tuesday.  The GOP playbook literally says it will "slow down" a movement candidate.  But only in the South.  It was to be their TEA Party containment and now actually HELPS Donald Trump.  THIS is why you see Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and even Harry Reid come out in force THIS WEEK, for once we get past March 15th, Trump will roll up most of the other delegates in the midwest and east that were to be Jeb territory. For Cruz to overtake Trump, he would suddenly have to start winning places like MA where Trump actually got MORE votes than Romney did in 2012 and where Cruz came in 4th with only 10% of the vote.
There is an argument that it is the Democrats crossing over, allowing Trump to win the GOP primaries since Cruz's wins came in pure GOP only (closed primary) states.  In South Carolina they took the dramatic increase in GOP voters saying these were all Democrats who were trying to sabotage the conservatives by voting for "liberal" Donald.  Studies show that no more than 3% of voters cross over in any election.  But regardless, their math doesn't add up.  My answer to that post was as follows:
How do you explain Trump winning self-identified Republicans in the exit polling by eight (8) points over Cruz? 

Twenty Two percent (22%) identified themselves as NOT GOP (156,780) and Trump picked up 33% of those to Cruz's 17%, a net difference of 25,084 votes.  I don't see how your math works here. As far as I can tell, you assume ALL NEW VOTERS were democrats (not independents or new GOP voters.)  Thirty eight percent (38%) of all voters claimed to be "very conservative" (270,800) which Cruz won by 6 pts over Trump. But that is ONLY a margin of 16,248 votes which is significantly less than Trumps 18 point lead in "somewhat conservative" voters (48,744) by 32,496. 

Your theory would mean that Democrats are SO angry at Trump (or so in love with Hilary or Bernie) that they turn out MORE voters for Trump in this cycle than Hillary received against Obama in 2008 (141,128). Unless I'm missing something, that doesn't add up.
And WHY would it matter any way?  As we demonstrated, you can not win a general election with only conservative voters.  But many of the Cruzies have some weird delusion that they can win the GOP nomination keeping moderates out, but somehow then they are going to appeal to moderates in the general election.  Now THAT is Common Core math.

This brings us to our final point. 
In 1980, Ronald Reagan's approval did not even reach 35% until the end of May because he was called an entertainer and not intellectual enough or knowledgeable enough on policy by the MSM and GOP establishment. (Sound familiar?) Reagan NEVER reached over 50% through the entire election, and actually fell from mid-40's to mid-30's after the Democratic convention. Carter, the sitting President, started at near 70% approval and stayed only a few points lower than Reagan until the final debate only 3 weeks before the general election. Like now, the cry from the GOP establishment was that the general electorate wouldn't take Ronnie seriously.  Polls change as people tune in.  Trump already has grown significantly from the beginning of the race in those who accepted the idea of him running and those changing their mind about absolutely not voting for him.  We have no evidence to suggest the general election would be any different.  In fact, quite the opposite.  Despite the intense (and sometimes laughable) attempts to brand Trump as "racist," Civil Rights hero Charles Evers just announced he is endorsing Trump.  Herschel Walker, Dennis Rodman, and others lead the idea that the long stranglehold on the black community may be over for the Democrat party by a 69 year old, white billionaire.  There is NO WAY that happens for Cruz.

Also, the only thing Hillary has going for her is name recognition. Most voters under the age of 35 have no idea who the Clintons really are - or were.  The independents who decide close elections don't EVER make up their minds on policy - but on whether they relate to the person or - like you do in the shopping store - "feel" which cantaloupe feels better than the one next to it. They don't even tune IN until 3 weeks before the election.  So the argument that Hillary is winning today means nothing in a general election. However, as we've seen from Trump, he is willing to bring up her theft of White House furniture, her email scandal, her theft of FBI files, and probably even the illegal removal of her Rose Law Firm records from Vince Fosters' office after he was murdered.  Most voters will have forgotten or never heard of these scandals and it will have the shock of a new scandal for her.  She will talk like a politician and come off as a lawyer/politician, while Trump will continue to be Trump - someone they EXPECT "you're fired" from.  And if Trump can ever articulate that we've given BOTH parties too many decades of chances to finally "fix" Washington, it is quite likely that Trump could win New York as recent polls suggests.  Still think that Cruz is "winning" over Hillary in a head to head match over Trump?

I hate to break it to you Cruzies, but even if Trump took ill and disappeared from the race, the Democrats DO have lawsuits lined up (like the one D-Alan Grayson has talked about) to challenge his eligibility. Worse, because Cruz has never proven his naturalization and only renounced his Canadian citizenship 2 years ago, the DEMS are also getting ready to challenge his Senate election as well.  Even if he were to win to court - he would lose precious campaign time, messaging and fund raising while Hillary is ALREADY preparing her general election media buys beginning next month.

It's tough news to take I know, but those are the numbers.


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