Now ask those same friends what Cruz wants. They might know that he was born in Canada, and they may have some opinions about the various memes making fun of his appearance, but ask them what Cruz wants the government to do. You might get repeal Obamacare. You will more likely get absolutely nothing.
I watch politics pretty closely and, from Cruz’s Wisconsin win to the middle of last week, I haven’t heard a single news report where Cruz has said one thing that would impact the life of a voter. Cruz is always sampled talking about the nomination rules and the delegate selection process. He broke through a little bit at the end of the week by talking about transgender people using bathrooms.
Much of that is the selection bias of the people putting together the news clips. It must be frustrating for Cruz that the only soundbites news producers use are when he discusses the incomprehensible (for most people) rules for picking delegates to the national convention, but he shares some of the blame. Imagine if your nonpolitical friend had watched the first five minutes of Cruz’s victory speeches in Iowa and Wisconsin. How much better would your friend had been at answering the question of what Cruz wants to do? My guess is that your friend would end up just as confused as when he started.
Cruz talks in the coded language of political junkies. He talks about religious liberty and partial birth abortion, but large swaths of his hearers have no idea what he is talking about.