Cruz’s Strategy? Focus on White Voters

Ted Cruz has mapped out a path to the White House that all but ignores the explosion of minority voters in America.

The Texas senator’s general election strategy depends almost wholly upon maximizing turnout among millions of conservative white voters — mostly evangelical Christians and the white working class — who didn’t participate in the last presidential contest.

In fact, Cruz’s team is banking on a sharp decline in Black and Hispanic support for the 2016 Democratic nominee, whoever it may be. The strategy returns to voter trends before Barack Obama shook up the electorate when he became to nation’s first Black president.

Cruz’s strategy is one that defies the conventional wisdom of the GOP that says the party can win the White House again only by appealing to political moderates and non-white voters.

“I’m an outlier,” said longtime Cruz aide Jason Johnson, the chief architect of the Cruz playbook, which he concedes is not in line with modern-day Republican thinking.

Yet with overwhelming confidence born from a year of studying voter trends, Johnson insists the first-term Texas senator can win the general election by motivating a coalition of his party’s most reliable supporters.

“It is absolutely the case that in 2012, there were a little over 2 million fewer white non-Hispanics that voted compared to 2008,” Johnson said this week in an interview with The Associated Press. “They sat it out.”

Cruz won 40 percent of the Hispanic vote in his 2012 Senate election in Texas. Despite its strategy, Cruz’s team says they won’t ignore minority voters altogether, and promised to campaign in Hispanic and African-American neighborhoods at some point.