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Is it Ted Cruz’s Texas now?
The Hill ^ | May 28, 2014, 02:45 pm | Jessica Taylor

Posted on 05/28/2014 1:04:19 PM PDT by SoConPubbie

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wasn’t up for reelection this year, but his presence was felt up and down the GOP primary ballot in the Lone Star State.

The only candidate Cruz endorsed won her primary fight on Tuesday, while incumbent candidates he ignored went down to defeat.

More generally, the upstart candidates who toppled Lieutenant Gov. David Dewhurst and 91-year-old Rep. Ralph Hall appealed to the same state conservatives who see Cruz as a hero.

“[Cruz] provided a playbook for conservative candidates to overcome the establishment,” said Texas-based GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak, who advised John Ratcliffe’s campaign, who beat Hall. “In every race, there was a Cruz dynamic.”

“He showed that if you raise enough money to be competitive, and if you run a good campaign and really mobilize the conservative base in Texas, that it can be done,” Mackowiak continued.

Cruz’s influence is also shaping state races that will influence Texas politics for years to come.

Tea Party activist Konni Burton, the only candidate Cruz endorsed, won the GOP nomination for state Senate in the race to replace state Sen. Wendy Davis (D).

Observers also credit Cruz for GOP Attorney General nominee Ken Paxton’s rise.

In what several saw as a choreographed move, earlier this year Cruz offered glowing praise for Paxton, a conservative state senator.

The Paxton campaign’s cameras caught the speech and quickly turned it into a TV ad, making it look like he had Cruz’s endorsement even if it wasn't official. That helped vault him from third place into first in the battle for the GOP nomination, and on Tuesday he won the runoff.

Longtime Texas GOP observers have noticed the sea change, too. They say the grassroots now controls the GOP.

“Things certainly have changed. The conservative grassroots activists have come to dominate the party establishment, offsetting or pushing aside some of the more traditional business/donor community,” said Texas Republican strategist Ray Sullivan, a former top aide to both Gov. Rick Perry and former President George W. Bush.

Sullivan said grassroots groups are much more organized and unified than in the past. They can also depend on help from national groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Club for Growth.

“The conservative factions largely within Tea Party brands have become very well organized and have a significant amount of influence in Republican primary elections,” he added.

The Cruz name isn’t a silver bullet.

Cruz’s father, Rafel, has become another big draw, but his endorsement didn’t help Tea Party activist Katrina Pierson beat powerful Rep. Pete Sessions (R) in the March primary.

She was underfunded and, as some observers note, may have reached too far in her first bid for office. Sessions ran a well-funded, disciplined campaign and was easily renominated.

Sen. John Cornyn was another member of GOP leadership who initially seemed ripe for an upset. Instead, he never attracted a serious challenger.

Still, some say Cornyn has changed since Cruz arrived in Washington, which would be another testament to how he is changing his state’s political leadership.

Cornyn moved to polish his conservative credentials and became more intractable on areas he once reached across the aisle on, such as immigration, as his primary approached.

Texas Democrats are all too happy to point to the trend, hoping a GOP that’s lurching further right in a state that is becoming more Hispanic could further help their party.

Cruz is the bogeyman they point to.

“The days of a pragmatic Texas Republican Party are over,” Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Emmanuel Garcia said in a statement Tuesday night.

He tied Cruz to state Sen. Dan Patrick, the conservative who defeated Dewhurst on Tuesday night.

“U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Dan Patrick have driven their party so far off the ideological cliff there is no room balance and common-sense,” he said.

Patrick’s win sets up an initial test on whether Cruz is actually hurting the Texas GOP. 

Democrats hope their nominee, Texas state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, will have a better shot now to win the lieutenant governorship this November.

They’re also hopeful that Davis, who rose to prominence with her abortion filibuster last year, can win the governorship. But they are more optimistic about defeating Patrick.

Republicans say they’re not worried, and that even if the state has taken a rightward lurch, it won’t be enough for Democrats.

“Democrats get their clock cleaned every cycle. Eventually, they will be more competitive, but I don’t see it on the horizon,” said Sullivan.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: cruz; tedcruz
"If we must have an enemy at the head of Government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible, who will not involve our party in the disgrace of his foolish and bad measures." - Alexander Hamilton
 
"We don't intend to turn the Republican Party over to the traitors in the battle just ended. We will have no more of those candidates who are pledged to the same goals as our opposition and who seek our support. Turning the Party over to the so-called moderates wouldn’t make any sense at all." -- President Ronald Reagan
 
"A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice." - Thomas Paine 1792
 
"It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." - Samuel Adams
 
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams
 

1 posted on 05/28/2014 1:04:19 PM PDT by SoConPubbie
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To: SoConPubbie; killermosquito; tpmintx; TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig; Caipirabob; Clump; ColdOne; ...
Ted Cruz Ping!

If you want on/off this ping list, please let me know.

Please beware, this is a high-volume ping list!
2 posted on 05/28/2014 1:04:57 PM PDT by SoConPubbie (Mitt and Obama: They're the same poison, just a different potency)
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To: SoConPubbie
“The days of a pragmatic Texas Republican Party are over,” Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Emmanuel Garcia said in a statement Tuesday night.

The Tea Party IS the pragmatic Texas Republican Party.

3 posted on 05/28/2014 1:15:45 PM PDT by FatherofFive (Islam is evil and must be eradicated)
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To: SoConPubbie

It wasn’t a 100% victory in all races, but it was really really epic.


4 posted on 05/28/2014 1:15:55 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: FatherofFive

Cruz sounds Hispanic. Might he attract instead of repel Hispanics?


5 posted on 05/28/2014 1:17:24 PM PDT by taterjay
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To: FatherofFive

Yup.


6 posted on 05/28/2014 1:18:56 PM PDT by Graewoulf (Democrats' Obamacare Socialist Health Insur. Tax violates U.S. Constitution AND Anti-Trust Law.)
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To: FatherofFive

bump


7 posted on 05/28/2014 1:19:43 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: SoConPubbie

“The days of a pragmatic Texas Republican Party are over,” Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Emmanuel Garcia said in a statement Tuesday night.

I’m sure he is very concerned.


8 posted on 05/28/2014 1:30:51 PM PDT by cdcdawg (Be seeing you...)
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To: FatherofFive

You must understand that when a Democrat says, “...pragmatic Republican...”, he means a Republican that says conservative things and then votes for the Democrat solution.

Basically, I don’t think pragmatic means what Democrats THINK it means!


9 posted on 05/28/2014 1:32:05 PM PDT by ExTxMarine (PRAYER: It's the only HOPE for real CHANGE in America!)
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To: taterjay

uhhh

Cubans are Hispanic....

And few of them that I know are lefties.


10 posted on 05/28/2014 1:39:50 PM PDT by Texas Fossil (Texas is not where you were born, but a Free State of Heart, Mind & Attitude!)
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To: ExTxMarine
You must understand that when a Democrat says, “...pragmatic Republican...”, he means a Republican that says conservative things and then votes for the Democrat solution.

Exactly.

The solution in the eyes of a democRat is more spending, more regulations, higher taxes or all of the above. Individual liberty and capitalism never enter their calculus.

11 posted on 05/28/2014 1:41:58 PM PDT by FatherofFive (Islam is evil and must be eradicated)
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To: taterjay; All

Cruz is a Hispanic surname.

Leticia Van De Putte will be a *nightmare* for Texas pet owners. Deep in the pockets of HSUS (Humane Society of the US) & the Texas Humane Legislation Network, she’s been behind much of the anti-pet/ pet owner & anti ethical breeder legislation the last few years.
She is an extremely dangerous candidate for pets & their people.


12 posted on 05/28/2014 1:42:34 PM PDT by KGeorge (Till we're together again, Gypsy girl. May 28, 1998- June 3, 2013)
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To: SoConPubbie

Goodbye, Dew-Dewhurst!
Goodbye, Dew-Dewhurst!
We ain’t gonna
Miss you at all!


13 posted on 05/28/2014 1:48:48 PM PDT by MIchaelTArchangel (Have a wonderful day!)
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To: FatherofFive
Individual liberty and capitalism never enter their calculus.

Yep, individual liberty and capitalism is EXACTLY what every DemonRat demeans when they say "extreme right wing"!
14 posted on 05/28/2014 1:49:42 PM PDT by ExTxMarine (PRAYER: It's the only HOPE for real CHANGE in America!)
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To: MIchaelTArchangel
Goodbye, Dew-Dewhurst!
We ain’t gonna
Miss you at all!



15 posted on 05/28/2014 1:50:43 PM PDT by SoConPubbie (Mitt and Obama: They're the same poison, just a different potency)
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To: SoConPubbie

The most powerful and popular politician in right wing Texas, is an Hispanic tea party guy.


16 posted on 05/28/2014 1:50:58 PM PDT by ansel12 ((Ted Cruz and Mike Lee-both of whom sit on the Senate Judiciary Comm as Ginsberg's importance fades)
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To: SoConPubbie

It looks that way.


17 posted on 05/28/2014 1:53:26 PM PDT by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: FatherofFive
The Tea Party IS the pragmatic Texas Republican Party.

Concur. Tired of "winning" without actually winning.

18 posted on 05/28/2014 2:49:08 PM PDT by Gil4 (And the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, ax and saw)
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To: KGeorge

Cruz is also an Irish Name. Spelled a bit different.


19 posted on 05/28/2014 3:18:28 PM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: SoConPubbie

I really admire Ted Cruz, but when you cross that old Red River hoss, Bob Wills is still the king.


20 posted on 05/28/2014 3:34:48 PM PDT by Senator_Blutarski
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To: SoConPubbie

Yes, what’s your next question?


21 posted on 05/28/2014 6:18:41 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2Million USD for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: SoConPubbie

Here’s hoping it will soon be Ted Cruz’s United States.


22 posted on 05/28/2014 7:17:20 PM PDT by definitelynotaliberal (Go, Cruz! Go!)
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To: taterjay
Cruz sounds Hispanic. Might he attract instead of repel Hispanics?

Ted Cruz is of Cuban descent. That doesn't necessarily translate to success with Hispanics of Mexican descent.

23 posted on 05/28/2014 7:57:55 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: Ignorance on parade.)
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To: Forward the Light Brigade

I had no idea.


24 posted on 05/29/2014 2:47:55 PM PDT by KGeorge (Till we're together again, Gypsy girl. May 28, 1998- June 3, 2013)
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