Politics & Elections: Cruz’s Endorsement Strategy? Think Local

Ted Cruz is banking on the endorsements of state legislators to carry him to the White House. Will it work?

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voting_button_final-01Republican Ted Cruz is not the most popular guy among his 99 colleagues in the U.S. Senate. Not one sitting senator has endorsed the Texan in his bid for his party’s presidential nomination.

But the Washington Post reports that Cruz has a different strategy for endorsements, one closer to where the rubber meets the road. Cruz is picking up backers among state legislators.

In Arkansas, 18 state legislators recently announced for Cruz. There are 43 in Texas, 23 in Tennessee, 15 in Georgia and 12 local lawmakers in Oklahoma, according to the Post’s James Hohmann.

Do endorsements translate into votes? Recent experience is that they do not. But Cruz is trying to get those endorsements a little closer to home. Most people have never met their Senator, but in rural communities, they all know their state rep.

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National Public Radio reports on a story familiar to Yonder readers: the closing of rural hospitals.

In particular, reports Michelle Andrews, rural communities are losing their maternity wards. Each year a half million women give birth in rural hospitals, Andrews reports, but a recent analysis of 306 rural hospitals in just nine states found that 7.2 percent had closed their obstetrics wards between 2010 and 2014.

“The fact that closures continue happening — over time that means the nearest hospital gets farther and farther away,” says Katy Kozhimannil, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

There is a bill pending in Congress that would require the federal government to train attention on areas that have a shortage in maternity care health professionals.

But most talk about health reform and most of the health care research is about what happens in the cities, says Kozhimannil. “That’s why,” she says, “it’s crucial to have rural people at the table.”

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You know water supply is a national issue when they are worried about the stuff in Minnesota, The Land of 10,000 Lakes. But the Minnesota Post reports that the state is “is experiencing significant problems with this most fundamental of natural resources, and can look to even larger challenges on the not-so-distant horizon — including fundamental scarcity.”

The state is using an increasing amount of groundwater, reports retired professor Deborah Swackhamer. And “the problem with groundwater is, you run out of it.”

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The Washington Post reports that 8 out of 10 Hispanic voters have an unfavorable view of Republican Donald Trump. Seven in ten have a “very unfavorable” view.

Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton holds a 2 to 1 lead among Hispanic voters over Sen. Bernie Sanders.

 

 

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