Tea Party Staying Power: The Ted Cruz Victory

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Apparently the mainstream media’s efforts to portray the Tea Party as irrelevant have fallen on deaf ears in Texas. A Tuesday night runoff between establishment Republican candidate Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and lawyer Ted Cruz was no contest. Tea Party favorite Cruz romped to a 13-point victory, and will represent the GOP for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican incumbent Kay Bailey Hutchison. “This is a victory for the grassroots,” Cruz told his supporters at the J.W. Marriot Hotel in Houston. “We should take it as a providential sign that today would be the 100th birthday of Milton Friedman.”

At one point in the campaign, Cruz was considered a long shot to beat Dewhurst, who had the backing of most elected state Republicans, including Governor Rick Perry. Despite his own dalliance with the Tea Party, Perry opted to back Dewhurst, offering the candidate his support, and part of his political apparatus as well, including consultant David Carney. The governor “is now the big loser,” wrote Paul Burka, longtime political analyst at Texas Monthly. “I think his political career may be over.”

Burka may not be exaggerating. A Public Polling Policy (PPP) piece entitled “Tonight’s Second Biggest Loser” noted that “two times more Texas Republicans considered an endorsement from Rick Perry to be a negative than a positive. 35% said they were less likely to vote for a candidate endorsed by Perry, 15% said they were more likely to, and 50% said they didn’t care either way. PPP further contended that “Perry’s standing has been significantly diminished in Texas after his failed White House bid and that he could be in serious trouble if he tries for another term in 2014,” with 29 percent of voters thinking he should pursue another term as Governor and 64 percent saying he should not.

Yet Perry aside, Cruz’s victory represented a stunning turnaround in the space of two months. In May, Dewhurst had a commanding 46-29 lead over Cruz, with three other candidates picking up the other 20 percent of the vote total, and the remaining 5 percent undecided. Head to head, Dewhurst’s lead was even greater at 59-34. Unfortunately the three additional candidates in the race made a critical difference: they prevented Dewhurst from picking up the 50 percent total in the first round of primaries that would have made a runoff with Cruz unnecessary.

But in a campaign described as bare-knuckles brawl, Cruz began to steadily gain on Dewhurst aided by a host of conservatives, including former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), as well as national conservative groups such as the Club for Growth, which contributed $5.5 million to Cruz’s campaign, and FreedomWorks, a Tea Party SuperPac. Freedom Works claimed Cruz’s victory signals that their particular brand of conservatism–highlighted by a desire to shrink the size of government, re-introduce fiscal integrity in congressional budget-making and re-invigorate constitutional principles–is gaining acceptance. “When Ted gets to Washington, he’s going to be seen correctly as a giant-killer,” said Sal Russo, co-founder and chief strategist of Tea Party Express, the nation’s largest Tea Party political action committee. “The big thing that I think this demonstrates is that the Tea Party is far from gone–it’s truly alive and well,” he added.

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  • Pat

    Ted Cruz' single largest donor, Peter Thiel of San Francisco, is openly gay and supports same-sex marriage. Thiel donated to Cruz $251,000 in 2009 and recently donated $5,000 for Cruz' Senate primary. He is also the largest single donor to the group backing Cruz – the Club for Growth Action super PAC giving them $1 million in May. Cruz is deceiving Texans about his alliances while claiming to be a Tea Party Republican. It seems that Sarah Palin should have done more homework about Ted before endorsing him, if she is truly opposed to homosexuality. She chased the spotlight at a Chick-fil-a for face time and Cruz bought their fried chicken to serve at his victory party. Seems to me they are both working overtime fleecing the teaparty votes and money.

    • κατεργάζομαι

      RE:(quote) "Ted Cruz' single largest donor, Peter Thiel of San Francisco, is openly gay…"

      ~Desperate Dewhurst's "single largest donor," …….is….Wait for it,- – - – David Dewhurst !!!

      David Dewhurst contributed more than $20 MILLION of his own personal wealth to support himself!

      There are major jokes here, but I will keep it clean.

      You sound like one of those really creepy Dewhurst supporters whom is still sore because your saddle was handed to you by Conservative Texans in a Landslide 13.6% Victory margin!

      How do ya like them apples, boy?

      Check out CRUZ Endorsements: The Conservatives for Cruz Crew:
      http://www.tedcruz.org/endorsements/

      Cruz is more intelligent and just plain outworked Dewhurst.
      Ted Cruz pulls Texas-sized upset – http://video.foxnews.com/v/1772238038001/ted-cruz
      Aug 5, 2012 – 10:28 – Rising political star on 'Fox News Sunday'

      Whether its dominoes, debate, arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court or running for the U.S. Senate, Ted Cruz is a fierce competitor and he will fight the RINO Eastern Establishment! Dewhurst is part of the problem.

  • Asher

    This was some Grassroots victory for Cruz, in spite of the unlimited money used by David Dewhurst's campaign because it was about values and Freedom, not Big government.

  • cynthia curran

    Believe it or not, I think Cruz was no better than Dewhust. Cruz was appointed by George W Bush which means that he is probably partly not telling the truth on immigration and is Latino. Rubio is pushing for a Dream Act so I don't trust Hispanics when it comes to immigration.

    • κατεργάζομαι

      Talk about an uncoordinated, irrational mind.

      Obviously you are not familiar with Ted Cruz because you have no idea what you are talking about.

      The Rubio-Cruz déjà vu continues only in the context that both men are Americans first!

      Cruz does not even speak Spanish!

      Cruz is the direct opposite of Marxist, Socialist , LOO-LLLAC, or, "The National Council of L@ Ra Za" – (the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.)

      Kindly, Inform yourself, madam. Ted Cruz is not an anti-Anglo, cholos low-rider identity politician.

      The Conservatives for Cruz Crew: http://www.tedcruz.org/endorsements/

    • κατεργάζομαι

      cynthia curran – Talk about an uncoordinated, irrational mind.

      Obviously you are not familiar with Ted Cruz because you have no idea what you are talking about.

      Kindly, Inform yourself, madam.

      THIS is who supports Ted Cruz:
      The Conservatives for Cruz Crew:

      http://www.tedcruz.org/endorsements/

      Ted Cruz pulls Texas-sized upset – http://video.foxnews.com/v/1772238038001/ted-cruz
      Aug 5, 2012 – 10:28 – Rising political star on 'Fox News Sunday'

  • mlcblog

    Oy!! Cynthia and Pat. This is not good. Thank you for your contribution — before we celebrate too much. However, maybe we should celebrate and call it a victory because we are desperate to get rid of O and elections are won by the momentum created with lots of favorable activity. Interesting to note, however, that two Latinos are soft on immigration law while attempting to be aligned with Tea Party conservatives — for what? the vote, of course.

  • κατεργάζομαι

    Contrary to Dewhurst's congenital lies, Dewhurst's outsider RINO-Establishment, PAC monies exceeded Ted Cruz's at a ratio of 33-to-1. Nearly 100% of Dewhurst's ads were poisonous and mendacious attacks..

    One CRASS, vulgar, and contemptible Desperate Dewhurst ad claimed that Ted Cruz was actually responsible for a Pennsylvania woman's son's suicide!!!

    Ted Cruz took the high road. He was not ad hominem.
    He is strongly endorsed by every major (real) Conservative in the land.

    Conservative Cruz Crew list: http://www.tedcruz.org/endorsements/

    ~ Ted Cruz would never mention this – - – BUT, I shall…..
    Dewhurst, 67, – claims he is a "family man" – However, he was married twice for a total of 8 years!

    Dewhurst: "My daddy was killed by a drunk driver when I was only three.." (repeatedly referenced! )

    Yet, Dewhurst's first trophy wife, a Miss Teen USA, and 19 years his junior, was convicted of drunk driving in her Mercedes and almost killed a woman. That marriage lasted 5 years.

    His newest wife (of only 3 years), is 22 years his junior. – Some "family man". He also really has chutzpa to keep mentioning "his daddy" when his first wife was a convicted drunk driver!

    Ted Cruz pulls Texas-sized upset – http://video.foxnews.com/v/1772238038001/ted-cruz
    Aug 5, 2012 – 10:28 – Rising political star on 'Fox News Sunday'

    Cruz will fight for the Constitution and to repeal ObamaCare.

  • cynthia curran

    Well, Cruz is also friends of George P Bush and appointed to an office by George W Bush. Cruz too friendly with the Bushes to be good on immigration but maybe better than Dewhurst. Freedom Works was started by Dick Army also bad on illegal immigration.

    • κατεργάζομαι

      cynthia curran – Talk about an uncoordinated, irrational mind.

      Obviously you are not familiar with Ted Cruz because you have no idea what you are talking about.

      Ted Cruz pulls Texas-sized upset – http://video.foxnews.com/v/1772238038001/ted-cruz
      Aug 5, 2012 – 10:28 – Rising political star on 'Fox News Sunday'

      With which do you disagree in the (above) FOX interview this morning?

      Kindly, Inform yourself, madam.

      ~ Ted Cruz is not another, "Leftist anti-Anglo, cholos low-rider, Marxist identity politician".

      THIS is who supports Ted Cruz:
      The Conservatives for Cruz Crew:

      http://www.tedcruz.org/endorsements/