Why Ted Cruz is now the Republican front-runner

Source: Washington Examiner | February 9, 2016 | Philip Klein

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Donald Trump may have come out of New Hampshire with the victory, but Sen. Ted Cruz has emerged as the Republican front-runner.


As the race moves to South Carolina, however, Cruz has a ground game in place and the electorate is much more tailored to his strengths.

In Iowa, Cruz dominated Trump among “very conservative” voters, who made up 40 percent of the electorate, and evangelicals, who made up 62 percent of voters. But when it came to New Hampshire, evangelicals only comprised 25 percent of the electorate and “very conservative” voters dropped to 27 percent.

The South Carolina electorate is much closer to the Iowa electorate. In 2012, evangelicals were 65 percent of the electorate and very conservative voters were 36 percent of the electorate.

Furthermore, in Iowa, Cruz had to fend off Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, who were all competing for similar voters. Carson received 9 percent in Iowa, and though Huckabee didn’t perform well, he did serve as an anti-Cruz attack dog to evangelicals. Now, Huckabee and Santorum are out, and Carson enters South Carolina greatly hobbled.



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