The numbers, as they say, don’t lie. For all of the doom and gloom out there about a Ted Cruz nomination, Donald Trump is a disaster general election candidate. Cruz always gets labeled with the unelectable tag; well, let’s examine that.
Ted Cruz’s favorability numbers (the only numbers that matter at this point) are sky high according to Gallup. Cruz sits at +51 with Republicans, which is the highest in the field. He’s at -3 with Independents, and -37 with Democrats. While that sounds bad, consider Trump is only at +27 with Republicans, -27 with Independents, and a whopping -70 with Democrats. That, my friends, is unelectable.
Despite the bluster and bravado and talk of adoration, Trump faces the same problem as Hillary Clinton – both are simply not likeable. The latter is almost certainly indictable, but that’s another article.
Cruz, however, is almost every voter’s second choice of those who aren’t already committed to the Texas Senator. All evidence points to the fact that Trump has peaked in support. If he’s the inevitable nominee, why can’t he break 40% in the polls, much less 50%? As candidates drop, guess who picks up those votes? Not Trump. He’s got his followers, and that’s about it. He’s no one’s second choice and, at this point, he has alienated every other candidate’s voters. Now, he’s starting to alienate his own.
The shtick is getting old. Saying he can “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and [he] wouldn’t lose any voters,” the ongoing juvenile feud with Megyn Kelly, the boorish insults directed toward anyone who levels even the mildest criticism are all getting harder and harder for even his most strident supporters to defend. Frankly, he’s an embarrassment and always has been.
Aside from having no discernable policy positions held for longer than a week, he speaks in generalities and vague platitudes. My guess is he knows this is the beginning of the end, and is using this made up debate controversy to make his exit. He can blame the Iowa loss to Cruz on those “stupid Iowa voters.” I see him underperforming in New Hampshire and South Carolina, and out by Super Tuesday, if not prior.
Conventional wisdom suggests Cruz will not do well in a general election based on the Barry Goldwater loss of 1964; let’s slay that myth while we’re at it. Goldwater lost not because he was a conservative, but because he ran against an assassinated President’s Vice President, who ran a campaign based on emotion and legacy. These same geniuses of conventional wisdom, always leave out Ronald Reagan, who won two electoral landslides as a conservative. And similarly, George H. W. Bush, who won the third landslide running as a Reagan conservative. It’s worth noting, it wasn’t until Bush governed as a moderate that he was defeated.
So, is Ted Cruz and constitutional conservatism unelectable? No, not at all. It’s Donald Trump and his New York values that are unelectable and this Monday, Iowa conservatives will prove how very electable Ted Cruz and constitutional conservatism really is.
Photo Credit: TedCruz.org