In August 2015 the conservative new site, Conservative Tree House argued that Sen. Ted Cruz did not have a pathway, a roadmap, to victory in the 2016 GOP presidential primary. Providing a “massive amount of historical research” the editors argued that no pathway to victory existed for a campaign that relied “almost exclusively on “proselytizing as an electoral strategy.'”
They may have been right. Sen. Ted Cruz lost every single county in South Carolina– including those that were considered “the most evangelical.”
This CNN graphic reveals how each county voted:
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump overwhelmingly won the state. And he won all of South Carolina’s 50 delegates.
Part of this may be the result of many changes the Republican National Committee made last year. The “establishment” changed Republican primary rules, finance changes (hidden in the CRomnibus bill), how delegates could be distributed, and the dates of primaries were changed.
The same methods were implemented in 2012 to favor the “establishment” candidate Mitt Romney. This election the hope was to hand former Florida governor Jeb Bush the nomination. However, this election Trump put a wrench in their plans and upended years of strategic maneuvering to redistribute delegates and votes.
The “establishment” plan succeeded in that its road-map was established to block Ted Cruz, or anyone like him, from winning.
The Winston-Salem Journal reported:
In 2014, the RNC approved selection rules that govern how each state’s delegates are portioned out from the primaries. Under one of the changes, states holding their primaries between March 1 and March 14 will have their delegates doled out proportionately with election results, a change that will likely stymie a movement candidate.
States that have primaries on or after March 15 will be winner-take-all states.
That’s important because another RNC rule change requires that a candidate must win a majority of delegates in eight or more states before his or her name may be presented for nomination at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
The RNC created a process that made it nearly impossible for any candidate to win a majority in any state. The GOP “establishment” sought to consolidate power within its existing structure in order to intentionally prevent a grassroots candidate from winning.