Cruz wins primaries that are “closed” for Republican voters only

GOP primary delegate count after Super Tuesday
GOP primary delegate count after Super Tuesday

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.

He writes:

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.

10 thoughts on “Cruz wins primaries that are “closed” for Republican voters only”

  1. I agree with your analysis. I just want you to know that I personally know some Democrats who cannot stand Hillary and really are crossing over to Trump, probably since he is, for all purposes, a Democrat anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Too bad for the validity of this point that the general election will allow Democrats and Independents to vote for whomever they wish.

    Presuming that such a vast number of average Democrats would cross lines to cause the selection of the candidate most likely to lose is giving them a little too much intelligence. They know more than most politcal reporters.


    1. There is a big difference between a primary and a general election.

      When a Democrat votes Republican in a Republican primary, they skew the choice of the GOP general election nominee to the left.
      When a Democrat votes Republican in a general election, they elect a Republican.


      1. We have had issues with crossover voting in our state for years. I do not know the numbers, but it does appear that some Democrats are quite clever. They must be to keep getting those who have no positive accomplishments elected so often.


  3. While we are wishing that the RNC would have standards requiring closed primaries (caucuses), we should also wish for a standard of “must be registered as a Republican providing support for the party for the ten continuous years leading up to the convention to be eligible to receive the Republican nomination for president”. (Obviously, ten years of party service and support would be an acceptable substitute in the case of a state (like ND) which doesn’t have voter registration).


  4. “Look at how it’s explained in the leftist Washington Post:”

    The author of that WaPo piece you quoted was George Mason University Law professor Todd Zywicki who is a libertarian and pro-life.
    The Washington Post isn’t Pravda, so it’s a bit imperious to impart your interpretation of their editorial stance to an article, regardless of the views of the actual author or content.


  5. I had to study the US electoral system when I took a Poli-sci elective, back in the days when I still thought majoring in Physics was a good idea (before the Soviet Union collapsed and before I discovered that I had no great love for differential equations).

    Even understanding the general process, it really strikes me as strange.

    Our system may not be better, but it is much more straight forward.

    Each province is divided into constituencies (generally called ridings, due to being based on the British system). The number of ridings is determined either by population or on a legal agreement made when the province joined Confederation that guarantees a minimum number without some sort of constitutional change. (Whereas Americans constantly argue about their constitution, Canadians have a bipolar relationship that bounces between massive popular level discussion of the proper mechanics of constitutional amending and threatening violence to anyone who wants to bring it up after we have grown tired of talking about it. eg. Don’t ask a Canadian about the difference between a country and a nation. They are NOT the same thing.)

    When a party wants to elect a new leader, delegates from the different ridings attend ONE convention. If there needs to be two conventions, the party is probably in deep trouble. There is campaigning. A vote takes place, and the person who wins becomes leader.

    When we have an election, which ignoring our last federal election usually lasts about a month, whomever is the leader of the party that has the most seats (1 seat in the House of Commons per riding) become the Prime Minister.

    We have one paper ballot (so that there is a countable record) which has ONLY the candidates for the one race for that riding. So you have one piece of paper, and a stubby little pencil, and you mark an X beside one of perhaps four or five names, and stick it in a box after everyone is happy that no one saw what you chose.


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