The Salt Lake Tribune reported on Saturday some good news for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas as the next two contests for the Republican nomination draws nigh. Cruz, according to the Y2 Analytics survey, leads in Utah with 52 percent of the vote. John Kasich and Donald Trump follow with 29 percent and 11 percent respectively. If the totals hold up for Tuesday’s caucuses, Cruz will have won all 40 of that state’s delegates.
Polls in Arizona, which holds a primary on the same day, shows Trump far ahead of Cruz in double digits. However, according to the Hill Newspaper, Republican operatives on the ground suggest that the senator from Texas could pull an upset thanks to a superior organization and the fact that there has been no polling in the state since Marco Rubio pulled out of the race. Arizona is a winner take all state, which means that the candidate with the most votes, no matter what the percentage, will take all of its 58 delegates.
Two factors complicate Cruz’s prospects of winning on Tuesday.
First, Gov. John Kasich persists in a quixotic run for the presidency, despite the fact that he has no chance of winning enough delegates outright. Kasich clearly wants to be a compromise candidate if and when the Republican National Convention becomes contested. In the meantime, he is taking votes away from Cruz and is helping Trump.
Second, Arizona, a border state, is a hotbed of anti-illegal immigrant feeling. That state of affairs favors Trump, despite the fact that Cruz is just as much of a border hawk. Still, an upset is still considered possible.
Wins in both Utah and Arizona or even just Utah for Cruz would serve to blunt Trump’s momentum.