Texas Votes Cruz: Results of the Texas Primary Election
By Devon Bradley
How appropriate that Texas Independence Day falls on the day after the Texas primary election: today, Texans can celebrate their state pride and newfound relevance in the presidential race. Approximately 4.2 million Texans came to the polls to cast their vote for the 2016 primary election, about 30% of registered voters. With a large minority population combined with its sheer size, the state of Texas may prove to be a pivotal state come November.
On the Republican side of things, Sen. Ted Cruz won on home soil, defeating Donald Trump.
The win temporarily rejuvenated a failing campaign by providing Cruz with a healthy confidence and ego boost and the prize of 135 delegates, the most of any state on Tuesday. However, looking at the numbers, this was also one of the weakest home state victories in the history of Republican primaries on record. With victories in Oklahoma and Alaska, Cruz solidifies his status as the front running Republican candidate that isn’t Donald Trump. Trump left the night with 26% of the vote and Rubio trailed behind with 17%.
The GOP must be thrilled as the tide in voter turnout has changed in their favor this election cycle. According to the Texas Tribune, a record high number of Texas Republicans made for the polls. Something to note is that this is only the second time a primary has been conducted in all 254 counties and that the primary occurred earlier than in previous years.
On a more anti-climactic note, Hillary Clinton won decisively last night, beating Bernie Sanders by about 34%. It was really a no-contest; Clinton had been projected early on to win Texas, where the GOP race has captured more of the state’s attention. With her win here, she not only solidified her position as the favorite for the Democratic nomination but increased her lead exponentially. However, although Sanders lost here, he did not leave taking Texas for granted. Yet, his campaign will need to reevaluate his numbers here as they reflect that while his message is advertised as universal, it did not extend to minority voters. Something more troubling for some Texas Democrats is that the numbers show that ballots cast fall far short from the historic numbers posted in the 2008 election. However, Texas has traditionally leaned conservative during elections and that really presented itself last night.