TheHill: A new poll shows Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with a steep lead in the Utah GOP presidential caucuses that could award him all of the state's delegates if it holds.Related link: New poll shows Ted Cruz with a big lead in Utah
A Y2 Analytics survey released Saturday puts Cruz with 53 percent of the vote, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. He is followed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich with 29 percent and Donald Trump at 11 percent.
Utah has 40 delegates, and a candidate will take all of them if he receives a majority vote. Candidates have to reach 15 percent of the vote to win delegates.
Cruz has the endorsement of Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R), who has been on the campaign trail with him there. Utah, along with Arizona and American Samoa, votes on Tuesday.
Cruz's large lead could have received a boost from the suspension of Marco Rubio's campaign. The most recent poll, taken in mid-February, had Cruz and the Florida senator neck-and-neck, with 18 and 17 percent.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert is not only endorsing Cruz by telling voters that he’ll be voting for Ted Cruz in tomorrow night's caucus, but also reminds them of the plus-50% threshold for Cruz to win all the delegates!
I am announcing today that I will join Mitt Romney in casting my ballot tomorrow night for Texas Senator Ted Cruz.Keep it up, Utah! #DumpTrump #NotKasich #ChooseCRUZ!
Tomorrow night, Utah will award 40 delegates to the Republican National Convention. If one of the Republican candidates can receive more than 50 percent of the vote, that candidate will receive all of Utah’s 40 delegates.
Ted Cruz is a consistent conservative who understands the importance of federalism. I’m confident he will work to limit the federal government when it comes to education, public lands and other issues where states can do better than the federal government.
Utah is no longer considered a flyover state. For the first time in recent memory, Utah voters will play a critical role in the presidential nominating contest. With one vacancy and possibly more on the U.S. Supreme Court, it is essential we have a president who will nominate a strong conservative to the court who will use the Constitution as his or her guide.
I greatly appreciate that all three major candidates have visited Utah this past weekend. I think it is helpful for the candidates to see firsthand what’s going on in the home of the nation’s number one performing economy. Too often campaigns are all flash and no substance. Utahns deserve well thought out policy and plans.
At tomorrow’s caucus meeting, I hope Utahns will join me in supporting Senator Ted Cruz.
Be sure to attend your neighborhood caucus tomorrow night.
Go to caucus.utah.gov to find your caucus location. #utpol
I'd continue to encourage the same direction for Arizona, which is posing tougher stakes...
TheHill: Donald Trump faces a major test Tuesday in Arizona’s presidential primary, the largest winner-take-all contest left in the Republican race.We'll take a contested convention (that won't work towards quite the advantage that the establishment believes), but would rather see a defeat of Trump in this important winner-take-all state. Arizonians, it's time to DELIVER and turnout for CRUZ! #DumpTrump #NotKasich #ChooseCRUZ!
If Trump can beat back a challenge from Ted Cruz, he will win all of the state’s 58 delegates and move closer to securing the nomination outright before the GOP convention in Cleveland in July.
But if he falls short, it could increase the likelihood of a contested convention.
Polls show Trump will enter Election Day as the favorite. But Republicans on the ground in the state say the contest could be decided by a razor-thin margin, and that Cruz is just as likely to finish on top.
“I think Cruz will pull the upset,” said Kurt Davis, a neutral GOP operative in the state and close confidante of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). “He’s the only candidate with any kind of organization out here and they have him positioned to spring the upset. They just have to deliver.”
Related links: Ted Cruz Visits the Border in Arizona | March 18, 2016
Rush Limbaugh: I think Ted Cruz can win | March 18, 2016