Ted Cruz’s Pyrrhic Victories

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

On the surface, Ted Cruz would appear to have had a very good last couple of weeks.

Following up on his resounding victory in the Wisconsin primary on April 5, Cruz dominated the state conventions in Colorado and Wyoming, netting 57 out of a possible 66 delegates from the two states. More importantly for Cruz, however, in denying Donald Trump those delegates, he made the front runner’s path to the outright nomination that much more difficult, increasing the possibility of a contested convention in July. And if Trump were unable to win on the first ballot, Cruz’s chances of victory would increase dramatically, as he has quietly outmaneuvered Trump in delegate selection processes for states ranging from Georgia and South Carolina to Virginia and Indiana.

However, while Cruz’s slick campaign moves have helped him close the gap on Trump, they may end up backfiring on him in an unfortunate — though not unsurprising — way.

In response to Cruz’s strategy, Trump has made a slight effort to bolster his own campaign’s delegate hunting prowess — most notably hiring veteran strategist Paul Manafort at the end of March. However, over the last few weeks, Trump has by-and-large ceded the delegate hunting to Cruz, opting instead for a different strategy: using Cruz’s own victories against him by painting him as a Republican insider circumventing the democratic process.

Seizing on the anti-establishment fervor which is feeding his campaign, Trump has repeatedly attacked Cruz for joining the GOP elite’s alleged attempt to disenfranchise voters and reassert control over the nomination process. Continue Reading