Ted Cruz cannily read the Republican mood long ago and positioned himself as an outsider running against the Washington cartel. This had the potential to boost him ahead of every other conventional candidate, but then Ben Carson and especially Donald Trump arrived. For a long while it seemed as though Trump might be helping Cruz: the Texan could “draft” behind him; Trump made Cruz look reasonable by comparison; the establishment might feel compelled to try to take down Trump and let Cruz escape unscathed (little did we know the establishment wouldn’t ever go after Trump and that elements of it would actually prefer Trump to Cruz). But all these supposed advantages were based on the idea that Trump would eventually fade or be beaten down and now that it hasn’t happened, Trump has devastated Cruz in an area that was supposed to a strength–his appeal to voters disgusted with Washington who want an outsider. Trump is absolutely romping among these voters, and couple that with the mogul’s strength among evangelicals, and he is taking a hatchet to the supports of Cruz’s campaign.
Six in 10 caucus-goers in entrance poll results said they were looking for someone from outside the political establishment, compared with about half in previous contests. And a smashing 70 percent of them voted for Trump, a new high for his populist campaign among outsider voters.
Fifty-eight percent also described themselves as angry at the way the federal government is working, compared with four in 10 in the previous three states to hold nominating contests this year. Trump won half of these angry voters in Nevada, slightly more than previously, and with many more of them participating.