Atlanta, GA- Texas Senator Ted Cruz has many problems.
Ted Cruz is not near the front of the large 2016 presidential field of the GOP. Ted Cruz is not raising as much money as the likes of Jeb Bush. Tec Cruz does not have the stunning popularity among young people that Rand Paul has, he does not even have the Latino support that the only other Latino in the race besides himself, Marco Rubio, seems to be gathering. Ted Cruz is looked upon by many as divisive, and he isn’t winning any polls.
But perhaps Cruz’s main problem is that he is viewed by many as divisive. Not only are people not backing him, they are actually opposing him. Isidewith.com claims 74% of Americans would not vote for Cruz. On RealClearPolitics.com this morning, Cruz is running in seventh, behind Ben Carson and Scott Walker, a governor who hasn’t even announced he is running.
The only people Cruz is doing better than are the likes of Donald Trump, (mercifully) and Rick Perry, the gaffe loaded governor of Texas who only began his campaign recently. Below him also is Carly Fiorina, who may not even make it some of the debates, and Bobby Jindal, who hasn't even announced. Cruz is the last wrung on the serious candidate ladder at the moment.
But there may be some hope for Cruz in the fact that some opponents will definitely drop out before this is over, and he strikes me as the kind of guy who won’t do that.
By the numbers, while Cruz is down he is definitely not out. He will make it easily to the FOX and CNN debates, although he’s not likely to be in the center of the stage.
The one thing that may help Cruz is the very fact that he is down now. People love to hate the front runner. Look at the 2011-12 primary run. First Perry was up, and then Gingrich, even Rick Santorum and Herman Cain had surges. But for all that Mitt Romney stayed beneath the radar, rising slowly, not the frontrunner, so nobody was loading it on him. And by the time he became the definite frontrunner, there was nobody left to load it on.
But you can only do that if, like Romney, you know how to not open your mouth and stick your feet in it, (at least not too often), and you are able to build a wide-ranging coalition within the party. That sort of thing seems to be lacking.
So, suggestions for Ted Cruz: don’t make it all or nothing right now, and try to appeal to the Latino vote. And above all keep your mouth closed. Nothing could hurt you later like saying something stupid now. If all else fails, just go back to the senate, and behave yourself. Your time may come again.
Andrew C. Abbott