The issue became a big focal point for Cruz over the past few weeks, as he pushed it in TV ads and stump speeches to draw a contrast between himself and Trump. Cruz perpetuated the myth that letting trans people use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity will give men cover to sneak into women's bathrooms and sexually harass or assault women. But Trump correctly pointed out that there have been no problems in states that allow trans people to use the bathroom of their choice.
On Tuesday, with Trump's win in the Indiana primary, we found out just how much Indiana voters care about this issue — which is to say, not a lot.
The overall results were somewhat expected.
As Cruz ramped up the bathroom talk, he continued to drop in the polls. It's hard to say if the bathroom talk caused Cruz's fall, but it at least didn't seem to significantly help. (Republicans, after all, tend to cite national security and the economy as their top issues, with social issues generally described as of low importance.)
It isn't just Cruz. The bathroom issue also hasn't worked well for Republicans in North Carolina.
There, Republican lawmakers pushed through a law that effectively blocks trans people from using the bathroom of their choice in schools and government buildings. The law, which also banned local nondiscrimination laws that include sexual orientation and gender identity, has led to a tremendous backlash, costing North Carolina jobs after PayPal and Deutsche Bank, among others, pulled business expansions from the state.
Meanwhile, support for North Carolina Republicans has, based on recent polls, tanked in the traditionally conservative state.
So given the dropping popularity of North Carolina's Republicans and Cruz's loss, maybe bathrooms just aren't a winning issue for the Republican Party.