Skip to comments.Observers say Cruz in control in Iowa
Posted on 12/27/2015 8:41:05 AM PST by Isara
DES MOINES | Ted Cruz has assembled an impressive presidential campaign structure in Iowa, veteran political observers here say, with one going so far as to describe Cruz's campaign as perhaps "the most sophisticated" the first-in-the-nation caucus state has ever witnessed.
Because of that grassroots organization, Cruz is primed to maintain his recent surge in the polls and win the Iowa Republican caucuses in five weeks, those observers say.
Cruz, a tea party firebrand and first-term U.S. senator from Texas, was the first Republican candidate to enter the presidential race, on March 23. Nine months later, he has overtaken longtime front-runner Donald Trump in multiple polls published recently in Iowa, including a 10-percentage-point lead in the highly regarded Iowa Poll.
In Iowa, Cruz has appealed to the state's abundance of evangelical Republicans and attempted to tap into the anti-establishment sentiment that pervades GOP voters this year.
Cruz's success also stems from a massive and innovative campaign structure, according to Iowa campaign veterans.
"(Cruz) has probably put together one of the most sophisticated, if not the most sophisticated, organizational efforts this state has ever seen," said Dave Nagle, a three-term Democratic congressman and now a practicing attorney in Waterloo.
Doug Gross, who led Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign in Iowa and has served on numerous other campaigns, called Cruz's the best campaign operation among the 2016 candidates.
"Frankly, it's a textbook operation how to win a caucus campaign," Gross said.
Cruz started his Iowa campaign by solidifying support among tea party voters, the bloc that launched his election to the U.S. Senate in 2010, according to Catherine Frazier, the national press secretary for Cruz's campaign. Then, Frazier said, Cruz courted evangelical voters, libertarians and even moderates.
Cruz's campaign has a chairman in all 99 counties - many with several co-chairs - more than 2,000 volunteers and a network of pastors advocating for Cruz, according to Frazier.
The campaign conducted an effective voter-targeting effort among various ideologies within the GOP and waited to pick off voters who in recent weeks have peeled off from supporting Trump and Ben Carson, said Nagle and Gross.
"What (Cruz) planned is working precisely to his desires," Gross said.
John Stineman, who led Steve Forbes' presidential campaign in Iowa in 2000 and has worked 14 years as a consultant, described Cruz's campaign as similar to the data-driven, history-making effort Barack Obama employed here in 2008 and 2012.
"It's a very elaborate, very aggressive, very well-informed grassroots swarming strategy," Stineman said.
Cruz has also won the endorsement primary in Iowa. With the state's top elected Republicans - U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst and Gov. Terry Branstad - pledging to stay out of the endorsement game, Cruz scored a trifecta with endorsements from staunch conservative U.S. Rep. Steve King, social conservative leader Bob Vander Plaats and conservative radio host Steve Deace.
"One thing that's incredible is that this started off as a race with everyone looking at Sen. Cruz as a tea party candidate," Frazier said. "And here we are today: He is viewed as not only a tea party candidate but an evangelical candidate. And that's incredibly important in Iowa."
The efforts appear to be paying off.
Cruz's polling average in Iowa on Nov. 1, as calculated by Real Clear Politics, still was in the single digits at 9.6 percent, fourth-best in the expansive Republican field.
That polling average in the past two months has more than tripled to 30.2 percent, which leads all Republicans.
While other Republican candidates have surged to the top of the GOP field and then faltered - think Scott Walker and Carson - observers in Iowa said they think Cruz is better positioned to remain strong in the race through the Feb. 1 caucuses.
"I'd be shocked if he doesn't win going away," Gross said of Cruz. "He built his organization, then he developed his narrative, and that organization captured the narrative, while others are still trying to build a narrative. And it's too late to build a narrative."
Cruz could get "Huckabee-type numbers," Stineman said, referring to Mike Huckabee's then-record-setting 2008 victory in the Iowa caucuses. Stineman said Cruz appears to be solidifying a healthy percentage of the state's most conservative voters, while multiple candidates - Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and John Kasich, for example - all appear to be competing for more moderate Republican voters.
"Failure for one of those folks to really take off and get Romney-like numbers, I think that's to Cruz's benefit," Stineman said. "It points to why he's not only in the lead, but why he's, I think, at this point favored to win."
Cruz, however, cannot spend the next five weeks coasting to a victory in Iowa, observers cautioned.
That which so many GOP voters like about Cruz - his willingness to rankle even his Republican colleagues in the U.S. Senate - also upsets some Republicans, Stineman noted.
And Nagle said there exists the threat that Cruz is peaking too early. Now that Cruz is battling for the top spot in the polls, the focus from media and voters will intensify, Nagle said.
"I used to be widely quoted with the 'Nagle's three rules for success in the Iowa caucus.' Rule No. 1 is organize, rule No. 2 is organize, and rule No. 3 is get hot at the end," Nagle said. "If (Cruz) has any danger right now, it's he's gotten hot too early. He'd be much better to be peaking in the second or third week of January."
And yet Nagle thinks, thanks in large part to that campaign organization that has helped solidify conservative voters, Cruz is in position to sustain his recent polling numbers and be competitive on caucus night and even after the presidential primary process leaves Iowa.
"He's in prime position to do very well here," Nagle said. "And I also think he's in prime position to do very well on Super Tuesday.
"He's the real deal."
I don’t have any problem voting for Cruz. However, I do not believe any reporter anywhere, any time.
I’d expect a well thought out plan from a man like Cruz, who is reported to be very intelligent.
I would vote for him. I’d vote for Trump also. I just think Trump has been the one to stir the kettle to the point where others have gained from Trump’s boldness.
Radio ads hit Iowa: ‘Politicians like Ted Cruz are the worst kind’
Grassroots Swarm... It’s all about peaking at the right time, in the right place - Very different from a big-media populist campaign. And more effective, if you can get it done.
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Cruz is showing great leadership with his “impressive” and “sophisticated” campaign as well as an understanding of how to build a team, organize efforts, mobilize a plan, etc.
I like the man and I like what he says. My concern is whether he has the talent to convince enough GOPe dopes to agree with him. Without the support of a unified Republican Party he will accomplish nothing. Then again, nothing is better than the Boehner, Ryan, Roberts sellouts we have come to expect. Inaction maybe be naturally hazardous to the health of Odumbo’s programs and policies.
Here is a take from http://americasvoice.org/ The group that is pro-immigration reform. Their take is that... “The Cruz campaign’s retroactive spin that he was never for a path to legal status doesn’t pass our laugh test.”
Who does the Pro-Immigration people hate most? TRUMP
Yep. Cruz is the real deal as is his campaign. Leadership in action.
The GOPe is sailing against the wind. They’ve put self interest before public interest. Those angry tea partiers just won’t go away. Now we have Trump.
Absolutely. Hard work and conservatism is a winning combo.
Go Ted, go Donald.
Best campaign season in 50 years.
Crewz Helmut is in control...
In his campaign, Cruz has demonstrated he understands the importance of not going through the intermediary of the press or the establishment, but rather going directly to the people. It's the same strategy Reagan employed to accomplish his agenda even with a Democrat-controlled congress. I contend that with the support of the GOPe nothing of value can be accomplished.
From the article: "Cruz, however, cannot spend the next five weeks coasting to a victory in Iowa, observers cautioned."There's no chance that the Cruz campaign will 'coast' in any regard.
DES MOINES (KWWL) - Republican presidential hopeful and Texas senator Ted Cruz will take to Iowa for a six-day road trip in January.I've observed and assisted Republican campaigns in Texas for almost two decades, but I've never seen anything like the level of sophistication in the data-driven, focused voter outreach to Get Out the Vote I'm seeing with Cruz in Iowa and other early primary states. My background in Engineering and IT lends some perspective on how well the Cruz campaign is designed to use information wisely and avoid wasted effort. I haven't personally participated in an Iowa caucus before, but I'm excited to be traveling from Texas to Iowa in the first week of January to be among the 2000 volunteers for Cruz.
According to the Des Moines Register, Cruz and his staff are putting the finishing touches on the "Cruzin' to Caucus Iowa Bus Tour" that will take the candidate to 36 Iowa counties from January 4-9.
I read that Iowans would not like out of state volunteers knocking on their doors. Seems if a bad idea the Cruz team would know this.
What do you think? (and thanks for your service)!!!!!
Great Graphic. Certainly a lot more accurate that that trash the idiot stick has been posting for months.