The best politician, we’re told, is one whose charisma is such that even opponents are seduced into working with them. Ted Cruz is not that politician; even those who agree with him find him irksome, and it can sound as though voters elected him Senator mostly to get him farther away from Texas. This would seem to be a detriment to a man running for President.
But Ted Cruz says there are invisible legions behind him — he can call voters from the vasty deep of the evangelical heartland. Ed Kilgore (who has moved from the Washington Monthly to NYMag) is unconvinced:
At the Republican Jewish Coalition forum yesterday, U.S. senator Ted Cruz made a rather astounding assertion that has now become part of his stock speech: There are 54 million Evangelical voters who stayed home in 2012, and that’s more than enough to provide a margin of victory for someone very much like Cruz.
At The Wall Street Journal today, Gerald Seib expresses his deep skepticism about the math involved in Cruz’s claim. Of the purported 90 million Americans who are identified loosely as Evangelicals (and the definition itself is not an easy one), many are African-Americans not inclined to vote for Ted Cruz or any Republican; 28 percent are self-identified Democrats (according to Pew’s numbers); and others just aren’t into politics. I’d add that a decent number of them “stayed home” because they are not old enough to vote. And the insinuation that all nonvoters are making a conscious decision to “stay home” because of the choices they have been offered is, to use a technical term, ridiculous…
Apart from creepy lying politicians, what’s on the agenda for the evening?