The big news, which was reported everywhere, is that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who was my first choice in the primary early on, has endorsed my current first choice in the Republican primary: Ted Cruz.
The Washington Times reports:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz for president Tuesday, giving Mr. Cruz a major boost ahead of the April 5 GOP primary in the Badger State.
“I am proud to endorse Ted Cruz,” Mr. Walker said on WTMJ radio. “After a lot of time looking at speeches, looking at the records, looking at what the candidates not only say but what they have done in the past, it was an easy call for me to support Ted Cruz.”
Many Republicans in recent weeks who have endorsed or supported Mr. Cruz have cited stopping GOP front-runner Donald Trump as part of their calculus. But Mr. Walker said he wanted to make sure he was supporting someone and that he wasn’t against something or someone.
Mr. Walker, who called Mr. Cruz a “constitutional conservative” capable of taking on special interests, said the Texas senator is best positioned both to win the GOP nomination and defeat Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in the fall.
Mr. Walker said he got to know Mr. Cruz a bit better during the campaign.
“He is a decent man, he loves his family, he loves his wife — he adores his children,” Mr. Walker said. “He loves his country. He and I are both preacher’s kids, so I certainly can appreciate and feel strongly about the impact that his father had on him as a minister.”
[…]In a statement, Mr. Cruz said Mr. Walker has been “an outstanding leader in the conservative movement.”
“Gov. Walker courageously stood up to special interests and won in a bitter fight in Wisconsin,” Mr. Cruz said. “His leadership has made a profound impact on the people of Wisconsin and I welcome his advice on how we can unite the Republican party and defeat Hillary Clinton in November.”
Mr. Cruz, along with Mr. Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, are in Wisconsin this week trying to build support ahead of the state’s primary next Tuesday.
Mr. Walker said he does anticipate campaigning with Mr. Cruz ahead of the primary next week.
Here’s the actual radio recording of Walker endorsing Cruz (4 minutes):
This endorsement will help Cruz a ton in Wisconsin, because Walker has a very high approval rating among Wisconsin Republicans:
“While Walker’s approval numbers have hovered below 40 percent statewide in polling after his exit from the 2016 race, his rating among Republicans is 85 percent, according to a Marquette University Law School poll taken last month. And his actions still attract attention from conservatives across the country.”
Walker was viewed favorably by 88% of all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (a total of 9,725 voters) surveyed by Marquette between 2012 and 2014 — and unfavorably by just 10%. His popularity is highest on the right, but his negatives are low among almost all Republican groups:
- he has a 95% favorability rating among “very conservative” Republicans, a 91% favorability rating among “conservative” Republicans and a 78% favorability rating among “moderate” Republicans (pooling Marquette’ s 27 surveys since 2012).
- he has a 96% favorability rating among Republicans who like the tea party and a 75% favorability rating among Republicans who don’t like the tea party.
- he has a 90% favorability rating among Republicans who are frequent churchgoers (Walker is the son of a minister and an evangelical Christian) and an 85% favorability rating among Republicans who seldom or never go to church.
- he has a 92% favorability rating among Republicans who are opposed to abortion (Walker is staunchly “pro-life”) and an 86% rating among Republicans who favor abortion rights.
“It does bolster his claim to unify the party and appeal across lines,” says Marquette pollster Charles Franklin, who provided the polling data. While moderates and tea party opponents give Walker his lowest ratings among Wisconsin Republicans, “even they are three-quarters favorable,’ says Franklin. “They’re just not at 95%.”
Cruz is doing well in other state polls, too. In a poll of likely voters in deep blue California, conducted by the radically leftist Los Angeles Times, Cruz trails Trump by 1 point.
The Hill reports:
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump holds a razor-thin lead over rival Ted Cruz in California, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times statewide poll.
Among likely June primary voters, Trump leads Cruz by just 1 point, 36 to 35 percent. John Kasich falls far behind, at 14 percent.
In all, about 75 percent of voters who were surveyed in California had an unfavorable view of Trump. Among Republicans, 43 percent had an unfavorable impression, while 51 percent had a favorable view of the front-runner.
Why is Cruz surging in the polls? Well, I think part of it is that people are realizing that Donald Trump is in no way, shape or form a conservative – not in his personal life, not in his political record. He’s been a Democrat all his life, and he’s a Democrat playing a Republican now. But I think the change in poll numbers has something to do with Trump’s constant stream of abuse against women, and in particular, against Heidi Cruz, as I blogged about before. Women voters are turning away from Trump.
But what can Ted Cruz do to convince those women voters who won’t vote for Trump to vote for him instead? That question was asked of Cruz in a town hall forum last night on CNN.
Watch Cruz respond to her:
There is a lot about his family background described in his bookI do think that you can look at a person’s family history and choice of spouse to find out more about them. Ted Cruz married a skilled, accomplished, hard-working woman – Heidi Cruz. And his mother studied math and then got a degree in computer science from Rice University.
Obviously, I think that women should stay home with young children when they arrive – that’s what is best for the children and for the marriage. But it helps a man a lot when the woman who makes that decision to put family first has a good education, good experience and maybe even some savings to help with the downpayment on the first home. And I have to say that Heidi Cruz is doing a great job of helping her husband with this election. Her education and skills are assets, not liabilities.