Former campaign manager for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Jeff Roe, who ran a well-oiled machine, cautions Donald Trump that he is giving away 2.5 to 5.5 percentage points by not employing data-driven campaign tools and putting together a solid ground game. Roe is right on that score, according to many GOP operatives, but as Roe sets out to diagnose his own campaign’s flaws, he risks missing the forest for the trees.
Roe sounds as if he learned the wrong lesson: “Trump won, in part, because the pack was divided and because Cruz failed to move Marco Rubio and John Kasich aside quickly enough,” Politico reports. “‘Yeah, we could take him [mano a mano], yeah, no doubt,'”
That’s a tactical explanation that misses the fundamental weakness of Cruz’s campaign. Cruz and Roe premised the campaign on the notion that the GOP electorate had loads more “very conservative” voters whom Cruz could enlist. This is/was statistically wrong. It has been the refuge of right-wingers who want to believe if they only screamed their message louder and had just the right set of circumstances the previously untapped majority of ultra-conservative voters would come their way.
“Cruz lost because most of the GOP is not as dogmatically conservative as he is,” explains Henry Olsen of the Ethics & Public Policy Center. “When the time came for moderates and somewhat conservative Republicans to choose, they did not choose Cruz.” It bears repeating that “very conservative” voters in the GOP are not enough; a candidate needs a chunk of moderate and/or “somewhat conservative” voters.Read the rest of Rubin's op-ed HERE.
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