I just voted for Ted Cruz in New York’s Republican primary, and it was not a hard call. The emotions I most closely associate with this campaign season are, in no particular order, dread, despair, rage, and mournful resignation. So to my surprise, there was a spring in my step as I headed to my polling place, located in a public housing complex a few blocks from my apartment. No, I’m under no illusion that Cruz will win the New York primary outright. Donald Trump is quite popular among Republicans in New York. Almost every recent survey has him comfortably above the all-important 50 percent marker statewide, which means he is all but certain to win the lion’s share of New York’s delegates. I’m nevertheless holding out hope that I will be able, in my own infinitesimally small way, to help deny Trump one of the three delegates that my congressional district, New York’s 10th, will send to the Republican National Convention.
Why Cruz? Did I vote for him because I find him charming and approachable? No, I’m afraid that’s not it. Cruz struggles in personality contests for the obvious reason that he is impressively unappealing. Let us not forget that Cruz’s remaining opponents for the GOP presidential nomination are Trump, a blowhard who has literally made a career out of lying about the size of his fortune, and the petulant John Kasich, who would be one of the world’s most boring men if he didn’t also have an explosive and easily triggered temper. Somehow, among these paragons of human excellence, Cruz strikes many voters as the least likable of them all.