Thursday, July 21, 2016

How is Ted Cruz's party-splitting act playing in your area? It's an easy national story to localize

Cruz waves goodbye as Trump supporters boo him. (Los Angeles Times photo)
Last night the star of the Republican National Convention was supposed to be Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, the vice-presidential nominee. But Texas Sen. Ted Cruz stole the show by refusing, in the face of chants and boos from Donald Trump supporters, to endorse his former primary rival. This morning, in a performance just about as remarkable, Cruz defended himself before the Texas delegation. Cruz is clearly running for 2020, but his critics say he has killed his presidential prospects. What do the Cruz supporters in your area think?

This is a story easy to localize. If you don't know who your local Cruz supporters are, you can look up his contributors in your three-digit ZIP code area on a page of the Federal Election Commission website, here. Just click on your state, then the candidate, then the ZIP code area. There's also a button (not visible on the cropped screenshot example below) to download the names, addresses and amounts of contributors to an Excel file. Then call 'em up and ask, is Cruz doing right or wrong? If enough journalists did this, and shared the results with us, we could get an idea of how Cruz is playing and how unified the Republican Party is. In any event, it's still an excellent way to localize the biggest current national event.

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