Drudge Report Emerges as Factor in GOP Race
One analysis says this is not good news for Cruz
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2016 4:48 PM CDT
Ted Cruz speaks to supporters during a campaign event Monday in San Diego.   (AP Photo/Sandy Huffaker)

(Newser) – Matt Drudge and his Drudge Report have become a big focus of the Republican race this week. Things really took off Monday when Ted Cruz told a conservative radio host that Drudge's website "has basically become the attack site for the Trump campaign," reports BuzzFeed. Cruz took exception to several headlines on the site suggesting that he had won in Colorado over the weekend thanks only to insider politics by party leaders bent on defeating Donald Trump. "And most days, they have six-month-old article that is some attack on me, and it’s whatever the Trump campaign is pushing that day will be the banner headline on Drudge," said Cruz. He added that "they no longer cover news." As the Hill reports, Drudge has responded by linking to a January story in which Cruz sounded pleased with the site: "We have got the Internet, we have got the Drudge Report," he said at the time.

Drudge also linked to an analysis in the Washington Post headlined, "Ted Cruz’s war with Matt Drudge could become a huge problem for his campaign." In that piece, James Hohmann writes that a "word cloud" from social media shows that Drudge is making an impact, with the words "cheating" and "drudge" showing up among mentions of Cruz's Colorado win. This should worry Cruz because it could make his victories seem illegitimate to conservatives. "If Cruz wins the nomination at a contested convention in Cleveland, he will need these grass-roots activists to rally around him," writes Hohmann. "If regular Drudge readers believe he did not win fair and square, they will be less inclined to do so." A blogger at the American Spectator, meanwhile, dismisses the "reprehensible" coverage on Drudge as "cheap tabloid tricks." Trump is looking for a "distraction" from the reality that he was beaten soundly in Colorado, where the rules were clear, writes Ross Kaminsky.