Ted Cruz looks good going into the run-off election with Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst to be the Republican nominee for the United States Senate. How did this happen?
Well, Ted is a great candidate first of all: smart, principled, and hard working. He has been working the grassroots circuit for years. I first met Ted maybe three or four years ago when he was speaking at an Americans for Prosperity event in Austin. Since then, he’s faithfully attended Teaparty after Teaparty event. Ted knows every significant grassroots activist in Texas personally.
Ted’s hard work gave him name recognition among the around 30% of the most faithful, devoted conservative leaning political faithful in Texas. They came through and voted for him in the primary but Dewhurst still beat him with his higher name recognition and money, but I knew pretty assuredly that if Ted got into the run-off, Team Dewhurst was in big trouble.
Why? A couple reasons:
1. Most Republican voters have already voted and won’t come back out to vote.
2. The most dedicated will vote.
3. In a head-to-head, Cruz’s name recognition will increase.
The Dewhurst camp made a bad decision when they went so negative on Ted Cruz: The criticism was so outrageously over-the-top that people were forced to go look up the truth. When they went to investigate, many liked what they saw. I’m not sure if the negative ads didn’t help Ted Cruz.
Thursday night of last week, FreePAC, Freedom Works political action committee taught a stadium full of people how to get out the vote. [My interview with Matt Kibbe here.]
After that, there were rousing speeches from all sorts of Cruz supporters. Following the speechifying, Senators Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul, Republican usurper Richard Mourdock of Indiana (who beat incumbent Senator Lugar), and FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe gave a press conference. There were a couple reporters there and then about 20 bloggers.
[Aside: Journalists ask stupid questions. I got to roll my eyes in front of them instead of online. Example: "Do Republicans want to win the Presidency more or the Congress more?"]
The FreePAC event lasted late and so early Friday, I drove back to The Woodlands, Texas and then went to the TeaParty event where many state TeaParty leaders showed up and endorsed Ted Cruz. Also there: Senator Jim DeMint and former Alaska Governor Ted Cruz.
Combined, these events and others like them around the state have the troops riled for a big turnout tomorrow. The energy certainly seems in Ted Cruz’ favor.