Remember kids, it’s early.
He’s mired in the middle of the pack in early state polls, but it may not matter. The date circled in red on TED CRUZ’s calendar is March 1, when much of the South will vote in what’s been dubbed the “SEC primary.”
Cruz isn’t writing off Iowa and New Hampshire, but his fallback strategy is centered in the South, where the reception to his week-long, seven-state “Cruz Country” bus tour — marked by big, enthusiastic crowds and often rapturous appreciation of his scorched earth, anti-Washington rhetoric — explains why he sees a lane.
Cruz has an advantage in the South over most of his rivals: His campaign is already extensively organized there, with a roster that includes some of the region’s most prominent tea party activists. With at least seven Southern states slated to vote in the March 1 “SEC primary” (the name is a reference to the storied college football conference) the region will have a rare early and influential say in the Republican presidential contest — and Cruz is betting he will be a beneficiary.
With all of the Trump brouhaha the past few weeks it’s easy to forget that we are just past the middle of 2015 and a year away from actually nominating someone. While personalities are important in the early going to capture the attention of the public, campaigns matter. Ask Rudy Giuliani.
The hardcore Tea Party base support that Cruz enjoys should not be dismissed. They love him and he loves them. They were helping him go after the GOP establishment long before Donald Trump decided to play politics. He could very well be the guy the rabid Trump fans look to if (when?) Trump grows bored with his latest publicity stunt.