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    How does Cruz win over some Dewhurst supporters

    How does Cruz win over some Dewhurst supporters

    Despite being vastly outspent and having the Republican establishment in Texas against him, Ted Cruz lost to David Dewhurst by only 10 points.  That’s a far closer match-up than most polls were predicting.  Just a couple of months ago Dewhurst was up by a factor of 2-3 times the ultimate margin.

    That’s an indication that Cruz has momentum.

    The bad news for Cruz is that Dewhurst still received 44.5% of the vote.  Assuming that everyone who voted for Dewhurst stays with Dewhurst, how does Cruz prevent Dewhurst from winning when Dewhurst needs only 6% of the 21% (rounded) who did not vote for Cruz or Dewhurst.  Will those uncommitted voters break more than 2-1 for Cruz?

    Turnout may be a factor in a run-off election.  But it’s hard to see how just a better turnout by Cruz supporters can keep Dewhurst from 50% plus 1.

    So Cruz needs to win over some Dewhurst supporters.

    I have a feeling more local knowledge than I have is needed on this one.  So how does Cruz win?


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    Milhouse | May 31, 2012 at 7:23 am

    The answer is actually rather simple: Dewhurst beat Cruz overall, but that lead was entirely due to voters who had never heard of Cruz. Among voters who knew both candidates, Cruz won. So now that the focus is on two candidates one can only hope that those voters who’ve managed to remain ignorant of him will finally pay attention, or else won’t know about the runoff and will stay home.

    It’s pretty simple to say how Cruz can win, but it’s up to a solid field operation to execute the plan. Having been a field operative for many years, Cruz has to do three things (and I’ll list them least important to most important):
    3. Continue to target and message likely GOP run-off voters (these are the “4 of 4” voters, voters who vote in every election, primary and general, every year) and highlight his conserative bona fides.
    2. Gather endorsements of those who failed to make the run-off. Each of the candidates who failed to make the run-off have “on the ground” staff and supporters. Also, those campaigns have e-mail lists of their donors and supporters which would be handed over to Cruz as part of the endorsement. This enables Cruz to exponentially increase his support network and expand his contact reach. It also gives him an expanded potential donor base.
    1. It’s all about the numbers. Cruz ended up 10 points behind Dewhurst because of the early voting. This is where a concerted ground effort is critical. Dewhurst will do the same for the runoff. Cruz’s staff must analyze where he did well and where he overperformed (this means areas where Cruz performed well as expected and areas of the state in which Cruz exceeded the campaign’s expectations). This enables the campaign to then target those areas and increase the voter turnout by communicating with the 1 of 4 and 2 of 4 voters who didn’t turn out this past Tuesday. The ground effort has to make sure these people fill out an absentee ballot or actually make it to an early voting polling place. When you have to make up a 10 point deficit, you cannot win by just shifting voters within the confirmed turnout. You must expand the reach and tap into the pool of Republicans who did not vote. That is your only chance.

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