The Hayride

Turns Out Cruz Won Election Day In Louisiana

Turns Out Cruz Won Election Day In Louisiana
March 06
00:48 2016

Let’s start this off with a tweet from Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com…

And another, for full disclosure…

With this in mind, let me pose a theory which I think has been proven true, and that is that the Hayride-Magellan Strategies poll released on Wednesday was substantially correct, though not spot on. And the Trafalgar Group poll released on Thursday was even closer to being correct. Both polls appear to have hit the early voting pretty close to the mark.

But our buddy Joe Cunningham, writing at RedState, hits the mark right on…

Then, Thursday night happened.

The Fox News Debate in Detroit, Michigan, was embarrassing for Donald Trump in ways that I don’t think anyone fully realized until this primary day. What was going to be another good day for Trump turned into a split with Cruz, with the latter taking Kansas and Maine while the former took Louisiana and Kentucky (albeit barely). Ted Cruz hit Donald Trump high and Marco Rubio hit Trump low. And it worked.

You can’t say Romney made it happen. You can’t say a bunch of voters just up and decided to go with Cruz instead of the others.

Rubio made Trump bleed. He got under Trump’s skin and made him irritable and frustrated all night. However, this seems to have come at great personal expense, as Rubio’s image has tarnished a bit with what many see as childish antics. This has allowed for Ted Cruz to come in and siphon off votes from him, Ben Carson (who dropped out), and John Kasich (who came off as a complete and total coward).

Ted Cruz erased a 20-point gap in Louisiana in less than a week and actually won the Election Day vote. That’s absolutely incredible.

And as of late tonight, the projection is that Trump will get 15 Louisiana delegates to Cruz’ 14, with 22 yet to be allotted at the state convention March 12. Essentially, Louisiana was a tie.

And while Louisiana is next door to Cruz’ stomping grounds in Texas, and in fact his mother graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is a state better suited for Trump than anyone else. Louisiana voters have traditionally gone for the most bombastic, the most inappropriate and the most entertaining candidates in the race, regardless of ideology. That’s how Huey Long became the Kingfish, it’s how Earl Long was able to win election from the state mental hospital, it’s how Jimmy Davis won the governorship almost solely thanks to “You Are My Sunshine,” it’s how Edwin Edwards managed to do what he did and it’s why Billy Nungesser and Jeff Landry are the GOP’s two rising stars in the state. Big personalities pay off here, so there is no reason Trump wouldn’t.

And yet Cruz beat Trump by half a point among the Election Day votes.

The Cruz campaign deserves a ton of credit for that wild comeback this week. The debate performance, which obviously resonated given the strength of Cruz’ performance in Kansas and Maine and even in Kentucky, where he was within four points of Trump despite Marco Rubio and John Kasich getting some 31 percent of the vote, played big in that momentum. But it’s worth mentioning that Cruz’ state director Michael Wong, who was hired about three weeks ago off Sen. David Vitter’s staff, did a hell of a job pulling a lot of hard-working volunteers together on short notice.

Trump won the primary, barely. But Cruz won the momentum.

Cunningham, on Twitter, with comic cruelty…

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MacAoidh

MacAoidh

MacAoidh is the Gaelic spelling of Hayride publisher Scott McKay's last name. It's pronounced "Mac-AYE." McKay has published The Hayride since December 2009.

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