Saturday, December 12, 2015

Rand Paul's Iowa problem: Ted Cruz

Rand Paul's Problem: Ted Cruz | National Review Online - Tim Alberta:

December 5, 2015 - "Cruz has been poaching Paul’s libertarian supporters since last January, when the Texas senator touched down in Iowa for a forum organized by Representative Steve King. The first thing Cruz did on that trip — before visiting with King or any of the state’s evangelical leaders — was stop at the Holiday Inn by the airport for a private roundtable discussion with Iowa’s 'liberty' leaders. In the eleven months since, Cruz has made significant inroads with this constituency — the one Ron Paul created, and Rand Paul had counted on as the backbone of his campaign.

"It’s an effort even longer in the making for Cruz. Over the last two years, the fiery Texan has followed Paul’s political lead on a number of key votes — from the 2013 budget showdown to the NSA-reforming USA Freedom Act and the National Defense Authorization Act earlier this year — in an effort to win over his libertarian fans. As the broader GOP electorate has soured on Paul-style non-interventionism over the same period, Cruz has charted a 'third way' on foreign policy, positioning himself in between Paul and the more traditionally hawkish Marco Rubio in an effort to court both camps’ voters. That’s hurt Paul, whose libertarian base of support was never the largest segment of the primary electorate to begin with....

"Paul has struggled to reconstruct his father’s base in Iowa — and therefore has struggled to remain viable in the run-up to the state’s Feb. 1 caucuses. Ron Paul had no opposition for the votes of libertarian-leaning Republicans in 2012, and wound up winning 21 percent of the overall caucus vote. His son, however, facing a field twice as large — and direct competition from Cruz — has been mired in the single digits for five months. He currently registers at 3 percent support in Real Clear Politics’s polling average, and hasn’t earned more than 6 percent in any poll since July.

"Paul dismissed the threat from Cruz in a meeting with reporters ... saying that nine of the ten state central committee members who supported his father are backing him in 2016. 'We still think the vast majority of the liberty vote is coming to us,' he said.

"But unaffiliated Republicans around the state say otherwise. The emerging consensus is that while Paul still probably has the support of most liberty-minded voters, Cruz has peeled away enough of them — from a pool that wasn’t very large in the first place — to make Paul a non-factor in the race....

"Paul was never going to win Iowa, or the GOP nomination, unless he could grow his father’s base of support, which hasn’t happened. Instead he finds himself bleeding family loyalists to Cruz, and struggling to stay relevant because of it."

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1 comment:

  1. Rand Paul is an organized, principled genius! He was accepted to medical school BEFORE getting an undergraduate degree. Why? Because he scored SO high on the medical school entrance exams. He comes from a family of hard workers. Most importantly, he is trained to list problems from biggest to smallest and tackled them in that order. Whereas the other candidates will let our country bleed to death while they focus on an ingrown toenail.

    Ted Cruz is s GREAT debater. He will debate either side of an issue, just to win. He is not capable of developing his own ideas.