News & Politics

It's a Two-Man Race: Conservatives Need to Rally Behind Ted Cruz

With Ben Carson announcing yesterday that he’s all but dropping out of the presidential race, his supporters — many of whom are religious conservatives — need to rally around Ted Cruz, the only candidate who is within striking distance of Donald Trump.

Having Trump as the nominee would be a nightmare for the Republican Party. Even worse, it will likely be the death of the conservative movement. This guy is progressive on most issues, defends Planned Parenthood, and has zero respect for constitutional restraints on the power of the executive. In short, he’s basically a nationalistic version of Barack Obama. Handing the conservative movement over to him means that the movement is dead.

Luckily for conservatives, the race is far from over. Trump won seven states on Super Tuesday, but that was at least two fewer than what many had predicted. The reason is simple: Donald Trump has a difficult time winning closed primaries or caucuses. His “revolution” is to a large extent reliant on independent and Democratic crossover voters. His problem? Moving forward, many caucuses and primaries will be open to registered Republicans only.

Because Trump always disappoints in closed primaries and caucuses, conservative historian Jonathan Henderson has developed a system to calculate Trump’s real support among Republicans without Democrats and independents. As a result, he correctly predicted that Ted Cruz would win Oklahoma. As far as I know, he’s the only one who did.

After Super Tuesday, Henderson updated his system, incorporating some feedback (especially about Trump). As a result, his system is now probably even more accurate. He explains:

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For Saturday. Henderson predicts the following:

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In other words, “Trump will struggle on Saturday with the four closed primaries.” Cruz may very well take Kansas, whereas Rubio could pull out a win in Kentucky, although that’s too close to call right now. Additionally, Maine and Louisiana are up for grabs. With regards to the latter it’s important to point out that Ted Cruz already “won” the preliminary, non-dispositive Louisiana caucuses, which were held Tuesday. This means that:

1. The race is far from over. Despite what the Trump campaign would have you believe, the billionaire businessman doesn’t have this thing locked up yet. He’s vulnerable.

2. Although both Rubio and Cruz can (and likely will) benefit from Trump’s weakness in closed primaries and caucuses, they will simply continue to divide delegates between the two of them, which means that Trump will likely remain in the lead.

Meanwhile, it’s clear that Cruz is Trump’s strongest challenger. He’s won four states now, whereas Rubio has won only one. Cruz is appealing to the conservative voters who make up the base of the Republican Party. Rubio may still be supported by the party’s establishment, but his predicted surge is never going to happen. It’s always “tomorrow,” never “today.”

If conservatives and Republicans (not necessarily the same thing) are serious about stopping Trump, it’s time for them to rally behind the one conservative candidate who can beat him and who has already done so, multiple times. That candidate is Ted Cruz. Unlike Rubio, Cruz is within striking distance of Trump and he will be able to unite all wings of the conservative movement: from social conservatives to fiscal conservatives, and from conservative populists to immigration hawks. Rubio can unite some of those groups, but not all of them, especially not the latter two. And that will doom him. In fact, it has already doomed him for, as Glenn Beck rightfully said on his radio show yesterday, Rubio can’t beat Trump anymore mathematically. The numbers just don’t add up for him, while they still do for Cruz.

So there you have it. If conservatives don’t unite behind one guy, Donald Trump will win the nomination despite his progressive record and his obvious weaknesses. If conservatives do unite — and do so behind Cruz — the man from New York can still be stopped. My advice is: Do it. Now.