Election 2020

Cruz Surges to 2nd Place in New USA Today Power Rankings

Eric Trump speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Source: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).

He’s not just sticking around.

Ted Cruz is on the move.

The combative Texas senator has climbed to second place in our GOP Power Rankings, the highest he has placed in the 14 weeks we have been polling political experts on who is the strongest candidate in the Republican field.

“The biggest news of the week was Ted Cruz’s surge in Iowa,” said Emory University professor Andra Gillespie. “One of the interesting features of this cycle has been the crowded evangelical field, where no one candidate has dominated and (Donald) Trump has held his own. Social conservatives may have found their candidate in Ted Cruz.”

Trump remains No. 1 in our survey, with 17 first-place votes. While he has continued to toss out comments that are considered poor taste or inaccurate, he is the unquestioned front-runner.

But Cruz and Marco Rubio are gaining ground. Rubio actually took more first-place votes in our survey (seven) than Cruz (four), but Cruz scored higher in total because 19 of our experts put him in second place.

It’s always fun to watch the bias creep in, even in “reporting” that the source no doubt felt was dispassionate. There is no reason to refer to Cruz as “combative” other than it reinforces the negative narrative the MSM and its occasional allies in the upper echelons of the GOP have crafted the past couple of years. The subtext is that Cruz is too much of a hothead to be elected.

Yeah, enjoy trying to continue to sell that.

We’ve long noted here that Senator Cruz is running a very steady campaign that deliberately doesn’t subject itself or the candidate to the weekly whims that the press is so desperate to obsess over in these weeks when no votes are yet being cast.

Cruz has always been the most solid choice for the social conservatives in this race, but Carson had all of the early flash for them. If Carson’s supporters, along with those still clinging to Huckabee and Santorum out of habit, migrate to Cruz, he could be in for a very big Super Tuesday on March 1st.

Not bad for a combative government-shutdown meanie.

(h/t Truth Revolt)