After a lot of thought, I’ve decided to vote for Ted Cruz today in the Louisiana primary. Let me explain why.
As you probably know, I initially supported Rand Paul for president. Even though he disappointed me many times on the campaign trail by pandering to social conservatives, he was the most libertarian option on the Republican side by far. When he dropped out after not being able to revive the Ron Paul ground game in Iowa, I had a choice to make.
By all measures, I agree with Ted Cruz on the issues more than the remaining Republicans, but I hate his style. He’s a brilliant man and a master debater with a strong resume, but he takes pride in alienating himself from literally everyone he works with. His speaking style is somewhere between prosperity gospel televangelist and used car salesman. And the face…oh, the face.
I agree with Marco Rubio a little less on issues. He’s far too turned on by military power and the surveillance state, and though he talks softly he carries a big social conservative stick. His story, personality, and vision, though, are unlike anything the GOP has seen, maybe ever. He is our Barack Obama, and the party has totally squandered the opportunity to capitalize on that.
Kasich is a fine man, and I agree with him on his unifying tone and more moderate social policy. But that moderation also makes him unviable in this party, as his performance in the primaries has shown. He, along with Rubio, may not even win his home state.
Trump doesn’t deserve his own paragraph. #NeverTrump
So what do I do now?
I vote tactically. Polls show Trump winning Louisiana handily. Having seen his campaign first hand, I’m not surprised. Ted Cruz is in second place, but probably not even close enough to pull out a surprise victory.
The best non-Trump supporters can hope for here is to split the vote as much as possible. Louisiana has a complicated delegate allocation algorithm, with a 20% threshold for most of the prize, so anyone below that wouldn’t receive enough to matter. Rubio currently averages below even 15% of poll support, so he’s not likely to reach 20%.
Cruz in second at 27% is the only candidate who will meaningfully split Louisiana’s delegates with Trump. Since no non-Trump candidate has a chance to get enough delegates before the national convention, supporting the likely second place finisher in each state is the only viable strategy for denying Trump the Republican nomination outright.
I’ll be voting for Ted Cruz today, not because I want him to be president, but because I don’t want Donald Trump to be. I urge all my Louisiana friends to do the same.