Monday, March 14, 2016

GOP Evangelicals Hold Less Sway After Mini-Super Tuesday

This is interesting.

If Trump knocks out Rubio after a Florida win tomorrow (which looks pretty likely), and upcoming GOP calendar is extremely narrow for Ted Cruz, especially in terms of the evangelical vote.

At the Wall Street Journal, "After Tuesday, Evangelicals Hold Less Sway in GOP Nominating Calendar":
Missouri and North Carolina have gotten the least public attention among the five states that will vote on Tuesday. But they could be particularly meaningful for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

The two states are just about the last on the nominating calendar with large numbers of evangelical Christians, a group that Mr. Cruz has tried to consolidate. After Tuesday, the primary calendar shifts to states with smaller shares of evangelicals.

The evangelical shares of Missouri and North Carolina residents are 36% and 35%, respectively, according to data from the Pew Research Center. The only state with a larger evangelical population that has yet to vote is West Virginia, where 39% of residents identify as evangelical Christians. That state doesn’t vote until May.

Mr. Cruz’s campaign, which emphasizes social conservative values, was supposed to be built for states with large evangelical populations. But seven of the 10 states with the largest evangelical populations, according to Pew, have voted so far, and Donald Trump has won six of them: Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi and Georgia. Mr. Cruz won only Oklahoma, which borders on his home state of Texas.

As upcoming primaries and caucuses move north and west, away from the states that were supposed to be Mr. Cruz’s base, he could use a win or two. Missouri and North Carolina would give any winning candidate a boost. Together, they award 124 delegates, more than Florida’s cache of 99, the biggest prize on Tuesday. They award their delegates proportionally, so Mr. Cruz could lose the states but still emerge with a prize.

Mr. Cruz may have greater success in Missouri than North Carolina...
Still more.