I have some great news. I found out why Cruz unexpectedly lost South Carolina. It turns out that in states that have “open” primaries, that anyone can vote – including Democrats! Cruz is losing some states because Democrats are declining to vote in their own primary, and instead voting in the Republican primary. They are voting for the Republican who is the easiest to beat in head-to-head polls: Donald Trump.
Here’s what the Boston Herald reported:
Nearly 20,000 Bay State Democrats have fled the party this winter, with thousands doing so to join the Republican ranks, according to the state’s top elections official.
Secretary of State William Galvin said more than 16,300 Democrats have shed their party affiliation and become independent voters since Jan. 1, while nearly 3,500 more shifted to the MassGOP ahead of tomorrow’s “Super Tuesday” presidential primary.
So that explains why Cruz is not winning everything. Cruz wins primaries that are closed, so that only people who register as Republicans can vote – not registered Democrats.
But some states allow Democrats to vote in Republican primaries without any change in registration.
Look at how it’s explained in the leftist Washington Post:
Following the South Carolina primary, an interesting article by Michael Harrington went around Facebook that speculated that Donald Trump’s victory in the South Carolina primary was attributable to Democrats voting in the Republican (open) primary. One of the good things about Harrington’s article is that he put out a testable hypothesis — that turnout in the Democratic primary a few days later would be less than 390,000. In fact, it was 367,000. Harrington concludes that had South Carolina had a closed primary, Ted Cruz would have won the primary there. I don’t know him and the author seems to be anti-Trump based on other things he has written — but the fact that his prediction was borne out adds some independent verification to his thesis. So that got me to thinking.
[…][S]o far the primary calendar has been heavily tilted toward open primaries. But there have been four closed elections: the Iowa caucus, the Nevada caucus, and Super Tuesday’s Oklahoma primary and Alaska caucus. Ted Cruz won three of those four closed elections.
[…][T]here are four Republican primaries/caucuses: Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Maine. All are closed.
Then, once the winner-takes-all states begin, a large number of those are closed primaries and caucuses as well (including Florida, for what it’s worth).
[…]First, the fact that South Carolina and most of the SEC primaries were open primaries may very well explain why those states did not turn out to be Ted Cruz’s firewall or launch states as he had predicted. Oklahoma did perform as expected, being a fairly comfortable win for Cruz.
This is something that the Republican National Committee really needs to fix, along with requiring photo identification and proof of residency in order to vote. We can’t allow a bunch of Democrats to come in and pick a raving con man as our candidate, in order to make it easier on their candidate in November. No wonder we haven’t been winning elections!
Anyway, there is more good news. Shane Vander Hart has it up on his Caffeinated Thoughts blog.
The next few contests on March 5 are ones where Cruz could do well Kansas and Kentucky which are both caucus states that rely upon organization. Cruz could also do well in Louisiana which is a closed primary. On March 8th you have Idaho Primary which is a closed primary that doesn’t favor Trump. Mississippi has an open primary, but I suspect Cruz will be competitive. Michigan on March 8th is an open primary which favors Trump.
So not only are there more upcoming closed primaries, but some of the states are caucus states, where having a good ground game makes a difference. We should be optimistic about Cruz’s chances in the next week.