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Election 2016

Cruz Returns To Houston As Primary Results Roll In From Midwest And South

Presidential candidates typically hold their election night watch parties in a state where ballots are actually being cast. So why is Senator Ted Cruz back in Texas, which held its primary March 1?


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Texas Senator Ted Cruz will be back in Houston tonight. He's holding an event at the Hyatt Regency in the Galleria — not in one of the states where primary returns are coming in.

The choice of where a presidential candidate holds an election night watch party often boils down to which voters the candidate is trying hardest to win over.

Houston Public Media's Coverage of Election 2016

Houston Public Media’s Coverage of Election 2016

"Personal presence versus a staff member can sometimes make the difference between winning a tight precinct or city versus not doing so," says Joe Brettell, a Republican strategist with the Houston office of public affairs firm Fleishman Hillard.

That's why Ohio Governor John Kasich chose to schedule his watch party for Baldwin Wallace University in suburban Cleveland. It's why Donald Trump, looking to deliver a knockout blow to Florida Senator Marco Rubio, scheduled his event at the Trump Organization's Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach.

So why did Cruz come back to Texas, which held its primary two weeks ago? Brettell says it was largely a matter of shoring up his base. "I think in Ted Cruz's case, you're talking about a state where he pulled off a big victory. He wants to show, go back to his place of strength, be able to talk to his voters, to his audience directly."

Cruz reached the March 15 primaries polling a distant second or third in all five states casting their ballots.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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