This is arguably the most crucial Presidential election of this generation. In fact, a win for Republicans this time around may have more of an effect on the country than Ronald Reagan’s in 1980 or Bill Clinton’s in 1992. Both caused dramatic changes to the way that America operated, but neither will be as important as what happens next year.
Ted Cruz is a man of seconds. He’s viewed by many as the most conservative overall candidate, but that’s the extent of his polarization. Otherwise, he’s the right combination of being the second most this or the second most that. While most of the time there’s nothing good about being second at anything, when you’re second at pretty much everything, it adds up to being the best overall. Like a quarterback who can throw, read defenses, run, stay healthy, and come through in tough situations, Cruz is a multi-talented candidate who is good in all of the right places.
It’s a combination that would bring very likely victory in a general election regardless of whether it’s the likely opponent of Hillary Clinton or if Bernie Sanders can mount a serious opposition. Of course, he has to make his way through to the Republican nomination, first, and that might be a bigger challenge than beating the Democrats’ nominee.
An article on liberal MSNBC points out the five areas where Cruz is second to another candidate. Combined, they make for a very potent campaign.
What you already knew not bad for MSNBC:https://t.co/0LWS5meVa4
— Conservative Leader (@consrvativleadr) November 21, 2015
Here are the five “seconds” that combined reveal Cruz as the top choice.
1. Carson’s Evangelical Appeal
Even though recent controversy about Ben Carson’s foreign policy knowledge has turned a good number of evangelicals away, he has been the chief recipient of their vote. This is where Cruz, the second favorite among evangelicals, has the power to unite them towards voting.
He’s building the strongest coalition of pastors around the country, particularly in Iowa, who have sway over their flocks. It isn’t just Carson who is feeling the pull from Cruz. Donald Trump’s popularity with evangelicals, where he ranks #1 in some polls, is showing signs of waning.
2. Trump’s Outsider Appeal
Donald Trump is the outsider many Republicans love. Unfortunately for him, he’s proving that he’s such an outsider that he’s actually alienating himself from those who want at least a smidgen of political sense. Sure, those who support him wholeheartedly will never see the errors of his ways, but how he’s handled Carson and more recently John Kasich demonstrate an immaturity that will scare most voters away from him when the primaries come around.
Cruz has made many enemies among Washington DC insiders, which makes him ideal for those who find his outsider status appealing while still wanting a semblance of political know-how. Cruz has both going for him. Perhaps more importantly is that Cruz is making his enemies among the career politicians. Every time a John Boehner or Bob Dole dishes out a punch, it has the opposite effect in the minds of Republican voters.
3. Rubio’s Minority Status and Campaign Discipline
Marco Rubio has had the revelation that he’s missed so many Senate votes come across as a negative despite the fact that he’s missed fewer than candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton when she was a Senator, or John Kerry. The reason he’s missed the votes is because he’s been running a very solid campaign, attending fundraisers and rallies in an effort to solidify his spot as the Republican Establishment’s frontrunner.
Next to Rubio, Cruz has been nearly as dedicated. He’s made more Senate votes and spent less time on the road, but not by much. He has a better ground game and infrastructure than Rubio, though, so one could argue that he’s running an even better technical campaign, but for the sake of this article we’ll call him a close second.
Then, there’s the Hispanic heritage aspect, a factor that will play a role in the general election. Even some Hispanic Democrats will find it appealing to usher in the first Latino President though they wouldn’t discuss it at the dinner table.
4. The Rand Paul Libertarian Votes
There was little doubt that Rand Paul was going to pick up his father’s mantle and be the voice of the Libertarians in this election. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t really do that, at least not definitively. Even before he sunk near the bottom on the polls, he was already being criticized by much of his base who were starting to see Cruz as the more Libertarian option even if he’s never claimed their philosophy by name.
Cruz is the closest to Paul in nearly every way. Even without being a true Libertarian, his views are close enough and his chances of getting the nomination are exponentially higher than Paul’s.
5. The Money Factor, a la Jeb Bush
Cruz has raised the second most direct money for his campaign. Only Jeb Bush has raised more through his Super PACs. Most importantly, he has the most cash on hand. While he’s not the best at direct fundraising (yet) nor is he at the top of the Super PAC fundraising, he’s right where he needs to be.
In the MSNBC article, they don’t refer to Bush. They actually compare the Cruz money machine to 2008 candidate Obama. It’s a better comparison since Senator Obama attacked fundraising in much the same way that Senator Cruz is attacking it: grassroots, email, and a tenacious frugality with campaign finances.
The Right Combination
America is going to need a candidate they can trust in order to turn the tide away from the liberal agenda that we’ve experienced for the last seven years. Cruz is best positioned to do that in the general election. The only question is whether or not he can do it in the primaries first.