Ted Cruz Sees Milk and Honey in Blue California

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.35.47 AMMATT FLEGENHEIMER

Monday, April 11, 2016

Good Monday morning.

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has made clear his feelings about New York values. So he’s trying California.

Nearly two months before the state’s primary on June 7, Mr. Cruz is heading west for two stops on Monday, holding rallies in Irvine and San Diego as most of the political class remains focused on a contest about 3,000 miles away.

The Cruz campaign views success in California, which awards 172 delegates, as critical to keeping Donald J. Trump from reaching a majority of delegates before the Republican convention.

And if the state is rarely considered a bastion of Cruz-style conservative purity, campaign aides have been much more bullish on California than many of the other states remaining on the calendar, including New York. An internal memo last month projected that Mr. Cruz would win at least 55 percent of the vote in California.
Mr. Cruz, true to form, is unlikely to moderate his message in deep-blue territory.

“California is a state, similar to New York, that has really been damaged by liberal economic policies,” said Catherine Frazier, a Cruz spokeswoman. “They don’t have the opportunities and the freedom that they did a decade ago.”

Though he still trails Mr. Trump in the delegate count, Mr. Cruz is operating with some tailwinds after a landslide victory in the Wisconsin primary and a sweep of the Colorado delegate elections over the weekend.

Mr. Cruz also has at least a passing familiarity with California, where he lived one summer during law school while working at a Los Angeles firm.

Then there was the alternate career plan.

Appearing last month on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Mr. Cruz told the crowd he had in his youth considered moving to California to pursue acting.

“Everything was great,” he said, “except that I didn’t have good looks and I didn’t have talent.”

What We’re Watching Today

New York is still the popular place to be as Mr. Trump, Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont hold events upstate. Hillary Clinton will be on Long Island where she will hold a discussion on gun violence with Representative Steve Israel.
President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will meet at the White House with Janet L. Yellen, the chairwoman of the Federal Reserve.