by Eliana Johnson
"Cruz’s performance underscored the narrowness of his appeal: He was unable to expand beyond a core group of ideologically animated voters, and as Trump ate into his support among Evangelicals, that proved too small a base to carry him to victory. South Carolina was a precursor of Cruz’s performance across the South, where he lost races in states with conservative, Evangelical populations such as Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Arkansas. In Georgia, Cruz won among self-identified “very conservative” voters, but they were greatly outnumbered by both the “somewhat conservative” and “moderate” voters who went for Trump, and Trump took a plurality of the 69 percent who called themselves either born-again or Evangelical Christians. In Alabama, the story was even worse: Trump won a plurality even of self-identified “very conservative” voters, taking 41 percent to Cruz’s 29, in addition to a 21-point victory among Evangelicals."