Saturday was a good day for Ted Cruz, less so for Donald Trump, but his next real test comes on Tuesday.
Hillary Clinton won the Democrats’ big prize of the day in Louisiana. But Bernie Sanders still remains very much in play.
Sanders won the Nebraska and Kansas caucuses, while Clinton took the bigger Louisiana primary, increasing her delegate count over Sanders by 1,121 to 481.
Cruz showed increasing strength across the Heartland, winning the Nebraska and Kansas caucuses and running Trump uncomfortably close in Louisiana too.
Strategically, he is exactly where he wants to be. The kiddie car called Marco Rubio has folded. An increasingly hysteric Rubio has now descended to the same dirt-throwing and shrill accusations he claimed so much to despise with his “message of optimism and hope.”
The big money GOP Establishment – thick as a brick in this election cycle – has already lost more than $100 million betting on hapless Jeb Bush (Jeb!). Now it is reluctantly waking up to the fact that Rubio is a loser too. He is not worth wasting the money on.
Cruz has positioned himself as the Last Man Standing: The only hope the GOP has left of stopping Donald Trump.
But now Michigan looms.
Michigan is a state thought to be heaven-sent for both Trump and Sanders. It is Rust, Belt, Industrial, ravaged by the horrors of 36 years of Free Trade, zero government protection and support since Ronald Reagan proclaimed “Morning in America.”
In my 2015 books Cycles of Change and Gathering Storm I identify the industrial Northeast and Midwest, which overlap in Michigan, as the region of America that suffered and lost most in the Age of Reagan, the Sixth Era of American history. So Michigan, like the rest of the industrial Northeast has the most to gain out of the upheaval and transition into a new era that is starting now.
If Cruz really wants to stop Trump and have any dream of beating Hillary Clinton in November, he must win, or run Trump close in Michigan.
Tuesday’s results will tell the story.
Martin Sieff is the author of Cycles of Change (Amazon-Kindle, 2015), a history of American politics from Thomas Jefferson to Barack Obama and Gathering Storm (Amazon-Kindle 2015) on the coming great crises looming for the American people.
Martin Sieff is an editor at Sputnik, the Russian-owned news organization. He is the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Middle East (2008), Gathering Storm (2014) and Cycles of Change: The Three Great Eras of American History and the Coming Crisis that will Lead to the Fourth (2014). Follow Martin on: @MartinSieff