Skip to comments.Ted Cruz could beat Hillary
Posted on 07/21/2013 2:01:38 PM PDT by nickcarraway
He may be a right-wing nut, but the Texas senator can beat a Democrat in a general election. Here's why
Theres been some more buzz this week about Ted Cruzs presidential prospects. The demagoguing senator took his first trip to Iowa just six months after being sworn in to office, and hes pretty clearly reaching for the White House. Early reports are that its going well. And Rich Yeselson wrote a high-profile (and fascinating) essay arguing that, basically, Cruz is perfectly positioned for reaching the top of the Republican ticket.
The focus of this piece is on Cruzs general election viability. When it comes to the primary, Im not going to start handicapping the viable candidates seeking the Republican nomination yet; Ill only say that I dont see any reason not to include Cruz in that group, as of now. Viable candidates have conventional credentials and are in the mainstream of their party on questions of public policy. Cruz, from what we know now, qualifies. With four years in elected office by January 2017, hell be in a similar boat with Barack Obama (who, granted, had held lower office as well) and Mitt Romney (who at least had four full years before his campaign began). And while Cruz surely is planted at an edge of the Republican mainstream, I dont see any reason, so far, to believe hes close to falling off that edge. Whether or not Yeselson is correct that Cruz is a particularly strong candidate, its certainly very possible to see him nominated.
But what about the general election? Could he actually win?
What I hear from many liberals about Cruzs chances are two things. One is just disbelief: Republicans wouldnt really do something like nominate Cruz, would they? The key is that Ted Cruz isnt Herman Cain or even Michele Bachmann; hes a United States senator, and that counts for something (that is, conventional credentials count for something) in presidential elections. So, yes, they really could do something like that.
The other thing I hear, however, is perhaps even more wrong. Some liberals react by actively rooting for Cruz. The theory? The nuttier the nominee, the worse the chances of Republicans retaking the White House. Indeed, in conversation Ive heard all sorts of justifications: Cruz couldnt possibly win Florida! Therefore, he couldnt win the White House!
Dont listen to it.
The smart money play for liberals remains to root, in the Republican primary, for whichever candidate would make the best or perhaps the least-worst president.
The bottom line is that candidates just dont matter all that much in presidential elections. Yes, a reputation for ideological extremism hurts, but it appears to hurt maybe 2 or 3 percentage points. Yes, George McGovern and Barry Goldwater had reputations for ideological extremism and were buried, but in both cases it was by a popular president during good times. Ronald Reagan wasnt slowed much (although, still, some) by his conservative image. Dont get me wrong: Theres no evidence for the opposite theory, that avoiding the squishy center (in either direction) will magically produce an avalanche of new voters who otherwise would have stayed home. Going moderate is better. It just isnt all that much better.
Now, on top of that, its an open question whether Cruz would really wind up with a reputation as more of a fringe figure than any other plausible nominee. For one thing, the Republican nomination process may bring out inflamed rhetoric, but its also likely to create converging policy views among the candidates. Indeed, its not impossible to imagine a scenario in which Cruz wins the nomination as the hero of conservatives, which then leaves him far more free to pivot to the center in the general election race than a less trusted candidate might have. Granted, the other possibility is very real as well Cruz spends the nomination fight solidifying his conservative reputation, and then finds it sticks with him no matter what he does later. And its worth noting that Mitt Romneys reputation as relatively moderate managed to survive everything he did in in the entire 2012 election cycle.
The bottom line, however, is that Ted Cruz is unlikely to drop more than a couple points to the Democratic nominee. And thats not likely to swing the election. Could it? Sure; even a small bump would have sunk the Republicans in 2000, for example. But most elections arent narrow enough for a couple of points to make a difference.
The only exception to this would be for someone who doesnt even have conventional credentials. Nominate Cain or Bachmann, and its not difficult to believe that the penalty would be very large. Theres no way of knowing, however, because no one like that ever gets nominated. So, sure, root for them, but it aint gonna happen.
So what it all comes down to is if you really believe that Cruz is more dangerous as president than Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie or the rest of the likely field, then you most definitely dont want him in place just in case 2016 turns out to be a good year for Republicans.
In order to beat Hillary, you have to beat the media (and mention Benghazi OFTEN).
Considering the media has picked the last couple GOP candidates for us.
I’m skeptical that any Republican can win the Presidency in the foreseeable future. As far as I can tell, this country is headed towards Euro-Socialism. Where Europe is today, we’ll be in 50 years (or less).
Let’s hope I’m wrong. Heck, it wouldn’t be the first time.
It only took the first seven words for this peniswrinkle to give Cruz the ailinsky treatment. Impressive.
I doubt we’ll see him running till at least 2020.
He is NOT eligible. What part of Canada don’t you understand?
"The demagoguing senator"
No bias here, no sirree.
Yes, he is.
Steel cage match? I’d pay good money to see that!
I believe that clause of the Constitution has been waived. It seems than no one in the whole gosh-darned US of A has standing to challenge anything.
Run a “right wing nut” and see what happens. It hasn’t been tried since Reagan.
I’m PRAYING that if Madam Benghazi runs in 2016, it will be from GITMO or Supermax!
Canada is not Kenya.
Cruz’s father had aspirations to become an American and did so while Ted was very young.
And Cuba was at one time a protectorate of the United States.
Cruz is qualified.
If he wins the nomination I’ll support him, and maybe before that, but right now I want to see what the circus is going to turn up. For that matter, the Democrats might have a circus of their own to contend with. Seeing how easy the Obamarama got off the ground, other flim-flam scum are sure to give it a try.
Cruz is more dangerous as president than Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie; a right-wing nut,, demagoguing senator, disbelief[that the Republicans would nominate him]; Cruz couldnt possibly win Florida!; a reputation for ideological extremism hurts; a fringe figure; Cruz is more dangerous as president than Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie.
Even if he believed Cruz could beat Hillary, this piece is nothing more than an effort to establish that Cruz is... take your pick from the list above...hoping that some negative label will gain traction.
The truth is, the Democrats can't make up their mind. On one hand, they sort of hope that Cruz gets the nomination because he could easily be painted as a radical. On the other hand, they are afraid to full-out bless his candidacy, the way they did with McCain (knowing he was a loser) because they may truly be afraid that Cruz's genuine conservatism just might kick their butt.
Cruzs father had aspirations to become an American and did so while Ted was very young.
Senor Cruz was naturalized in 2005.
I expect the democrats to commit massive election fraud yet again.
He would have to not only beat Hillary, but also the establishment GOP.