Why The GOP Establishment Should Fear This Outspoken Underdog Candidate

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

There seems to be a trend with the GOP presidential candidates who are appearing at the top of the polls right now. The one thing they all seem to have in common is their willingness to stand up to the media and to their own party and demand they stop caving to the Left. Senator Ted Cruz has never disappointed when it comes to standing up to those on the left and when necessary, calling out those in his own party when they take a left turn. He’s not looking to be popular in the halls of Congress, he’s looking to represent the will of We The People, and hopefully the American voter will remember his courage when it comes time to vote in the primary elections. 

cruz poster

Poster by awesome conservative artist Sabo.

The Texas senator may look like an also-ran, but he’s a legit contender. Where’s Ted Cruz? The outspoken Texas senator has been unusually quiet in recent weeks. But in GOP circles, there’s soft but growing chatter that he is likely to be one of the last men standing in one of the most chaotic and unpredictable presidential races in recent memory. You wouldn’t know it from his poll numbers. Cruz is running at about 6 percent nationally and in key states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. That’s well behind outsiders Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, and Ben Carson, and those numbers accord with the attitude that many influential Republicans have taken toward him since his arrival in Washington three years ago: There’s no way he can win the nomination. He’s too conservative and doctrinaire, and his abrasiveness doesn’t help the cause.

Given his poll numbers and his solid but unremarkable debate performances, the press has mostly ignored him. The result is that the Texas senator may be the most undercovered serious candidate in the race – and the most underestimated. But he shouldn’t be dismissed. This is the man, after all, who, according to one of his allies, began meeting with Iowa activists to plot his path to victory in the state in August of 2013, just nine months after he was elected to the Senate. Is it possible that he’ll sneak up on the Republican establishment again, just as he did in his 2012 Senate race? Within Republican circles, attitudes about his viability have begun to change. Even strategists associated with some of Cruz’s rivals acknowledge that, in a historically crowded field, he may be one of the last men standing. “He’s got a long way to go, but unlike some of these guys, he has a coherent strategy, he has a lot of money, he has a pretty consistent message, and he’s not making mistakes,” says a top Republican strategist allied with Florida senator Marco Rubio. “He’s running a good campaign.”

With strong support in Iowa and South Carolina, Cruz has a path through the early states; both his campaign and his super PAC are flush with cash; and he’s a skilled politician who doesn’t slip up much on the campaign trail or in debates. But unlike Cruz himself, his strategy is not head-turning but simple, steady, even creeping. “He’s not readily considered a first-tier candidate, but if you look at the critical ways to evaluate whether a candidate is strong or not, he should be a first-tier candidate,” says GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak. By all accounts, Cruz is positioned to succeed in Iowa, which has been friendly to conservative candidates in years past. The Real Clear Politics polling average has him tied for third place with Carly Fiorina, and he has a solid ground game in place. “Our trajectory has been slow and steady upward,” says Bryan English, Cruz’s political director in the state. “I’ve just been kind of curious, okay, when are people going to start paying attention to what we’re doing and that we’re positioned to do very well in Iowa.”

The campaign has been getting in position for a long time. Steve Deace, an Iowa-based talk-radio host who has endorsed Cruz, says that as far back as August of 2013, Cruz was asking him to set up meetings with top Iowa activists. Now, Deace says, the Texas senator has “the best [Iowa] organization I’ve ever seen,” composed of the sort of dedicated activists who put Rick Santorum over the finish line four years ago. Cruz also has a plan beyond Iowa. He has referred to the March 1 “SEC primary,” in which eight Southern states go to the polls, as his “firewall”: that is, a backstop against whatever losses he might sustain beforehand. This year, these Southern states will go to the polls before Florida and before the traditional Super Tuesday, a change in the primary calendar instituted by RNC chairman Reince Priebus. Most of those contests, unlike the ones that precede them, are not winner-take-all, and Cruz’s goal is to win the most delegates rather than to take entire states.

Via: National Review

 


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