Cruz Shocks Nation, May Reflect Alaska Faith Based Voters

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Last night Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas created quite a stir at the Republican National Convention by not endorsing Donald Trump.

It was a shocking moment, but delegates shouldn’t have been shocked by the comments themselves.

At least the Alaska delegates shouldn’t. They have been hearing them, complete with a non-endorsement, from the faith-based wing of their own state party.

Here is what Cruz actually said last night:

“We deserve leaders who stand for principle. Unite us all behind shared values. Cast aside anger for love. That is the standard we should expect, from everybody.”

“And to those listening, please, don’t stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”

Cruz’s comments have three elements:

  1. An appeal to judge leaders and candidates based on moral principle. This stands in contrast to voting for candidates based on party affiliation or political calculation.
  2. An appeal to voters to “vote their conscience.” This stands in contrast to voting based on who the Republican establishment expects their members to support.
  3. A lack of an explicit endorsement for Donald Trump.
Jim Minnery

Jim Minnery

Those comments appear to be completely in line with the writings of Alaska Family Council President Jim Minnery, as we detailed in May.

At that time Minnery told us:

“I’d say most of the people that focus on our issues are concerned about Trump, even though he’s made some statements about the sanctity of life that are encouraging, but I’d say most people are discouraged” and “There are a lot of people in my universe have said they are just going to take a break this time around.”

And

“My take is that the worst thing we could do is just line up right behind him right away. We have, I believe, some leverage on the national level and for use not to utilize that wouldn’t be wise. He’s the Art of the Deal guy, so let’s make a deal.”

It would appear that deal hasn’t been forthcoming. On June 23rd, Minnery sent an email to his followers:

“Here are three takeaways that should be considered by every Alaskan value voter -“

  1. “There are dozens of upcoming races at the local and state level that will affect the principles we hold dear — life, family and religious liberty. In the coming weeks and months, Alaska Family Action will be providing resources for social conservatives to get informed and vote their values.”
  2.  “Some data show that in the last election cycle, nearly 38 million people who identify as Christians didn’t show up to vote. That added up to a big difference in the outcome of the election. We will be mobilizing Christians to vote because we know every vote really does matter.”
  3. “It is the right of every American to vote their conscience. We understand there are some within the Christian community who are opposed to Mr. Trump — and some who already have or are ready to embrace him. We respect those views and the friends who hold them. We also value and appreciate dialogue and believe that we have a responsibility, both as Christians and as a policy organization, to listen and dialogue with anyone seeking office. We plan to continue those conversations as part of our commitment to inform, inspire and engage our constituents.”

Again, you will see the same three elements as Cruz’s comments:

  1. An appeal to judge leaders and candidates based on moral principle.
  2. An appeal to voters to “vote their conscience.”
  3. A lack of an explicit endorsement for Donald Trump.

Cruz’ comments may not have been popular in the convention hall in Cleveland last night, as Minnery comments show, they are clearly rooted in pre-existing attitudes and language being expressed among evangelicals, even as far away as Alaska.

This morning, we requested our friend and delegate to the Republican National Convention Eric Cordero ask fellow delegate Rev. Glen Clary of Anchorage Baptist Temple if he thinks evangelicals will support Trump. In the wake of Cruz’ comments, here is what Clary had to say:

For those who decided not to watch the video, Cordero asked Clary, “Do you think he (Trump) will get the full support of evangelical Republicans?” Clary responded::

“It’s going to take some work. He is going to have to gain and build their confidence in him. That will take some work. I trust that with Mike Pence’s help that will come about.”

Saying someone has “work to do” is a nice way of saying “they aren’t there yet.”

Trump will likely win Alaska’s electoral votes regardless, but if he can’t get that work done, and with tight contests in a slew of Lower 48 states, he likely will not be President.

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*Jim Minnery did not immediately return a phone message this morning seeking comment on this story.*

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