[Map source: MotherJones.com]
Take a look at the map above of the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
If you glance quickly, you might wonder: What is it about the culture of the Southeast that attracts voters to Donald Trump — while Midwestern voters are more attracted to Ted Cruz?
In this case, however, regional cultural differences may not be the best explanation to account for the divergent pattern of primary wins.
Put very simply: Ted Cruz is winning in states that have closed caucuses or closed primaries, while Donald Trump is winning in states with open caucuses or open primaries.
This would seem to suggest that Donald Trump is, perhaps, benefitting from support from independents or even Democrats, while Ted Cruz remains the favorite among the registered Republican party faithful who are partial toward traditional conservatives.
Economonitor compiled the tables below of states that each candidate has won, based on data from RealClearPolitics.
Here is a screen capture of the relevant RealClear Politics source data. (Note: Colorado and Wyoming began their caucuses March first, but do not culminate until their state conventions on April 1st & 16th, respectively.)