While Ted Cruz dropped for awhile among all the other candidates, he has begun ascending with voters even in the shadow of Trump.
I posted earlier that Jeb Bush has benefitted from Donald Trump’s entry into the race. The fact that few people are noticing what Ted Cruz is doing supports that theory to an extent. But it isn’t entirely succeeding in making Jeb the alternative to Trump yet. Cruz is ahead of Jeb Bush in some polls.
Byron York writes at the Washington Examiner about what has happened: “With all attention on Trump, Ted Cruz rises in GOP race.”
The Texas senator really connected with conservatives during the earliest days of his campaign; for a while in April, Cruz was in third place in the GOP race, according to the RealClearPolitics average of national polls. By July, he had fallen to eighth. Now, Cruz has moved up a couple of spots and seems headed higher.
Supporters attribute some of this turnaround to his performance in the debate. Whatever the reason might be, he is edging out Jeb Bush:
In a recent Fox News poll — the one in which Cruz jumped up to third place after the debate, ahead of Jeb Bush — Cruz did better with voters under 45 years of age than any Republican candidate except Donald Trump. He’s got room to grow. No one knows how long his recent rise will last, but it appears that Cruz’s work is finally making a difference.
So there is more reason to hope that, if or when Donald Trump flames out, Jeb Bush will not be the winner in what follows.
Cruz seems to be the Republican most benefiting from taking on other Republicans — not so much his GOP rivals in the presidential race but the party leadership in Washington. At the recent RedState Gathering of conservatives in Atlanta, Cruz won a huge ovation when he was asked what it means to lead from behind. “Well, sure,” Cruz replied. “Republican congressional leadership does it every day.”
All the things that have made many Republicans in Washington dislike Cruz just make a certain type of GOP voter like him even more. In much the way that primary voters admire Scott Walker for standing up and taking on the unions, they admire Cruz for standing up and taking on Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.
I have no idea if Ted Cruz is the best choice for President, but if he is gaining from an anti-McConnell/Boehner groundswell, more power to him!