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.
“I concede that if Obama is not removed because of his ineligibility than that provision of the USC will be rendered moot.”
Not moot until it is adjudicated.
Obama’s occupation of the office would have no bearing on future ineligible candidates or impostors.
But, Ted is more qualified than Obama as both Canada and Cuba are close and Cuba was under the protection at one point.
So far I like Cruz and his politics but I will not vote for him to be POTUSA. I cannot discard my belief that the Constitution makes specifically/deliberately a different recognition of ‘natural born citizen’ and just plain ‘citizen’. According to some people just being born in the USA makes a person eligible for POTUSA. In such a situation the two sons of the Muslim ex President Morsi of Egypt would be eligible by being born in the USA. I believe the Founders of our Nation were very concerned about such a situation and even more so about a a Muslim becoming POTUSA. An then there is this news about a black lady minister in Alabama saying Obama is eligible for POTUSA because he is married to a bona fide USA citizen. When the eligibility for POTUSA goes out of bounds of the Constitution it is necessary to look closely for the reason/purpose of being out of bounds.
Well, based on the typical pattern of conservatives, we’ll fight bitterly amongst ourselves over Cruz’s eligibility while liberals laugh at us and put their 2016 voter fraud plans into place. Meanwhile, as the conservatives rip each other to shreds and cannot coalesce around Cruz, the GOPe, with the help of Dems voting in Republican primaries, will slip in Jeb or Christie as the Republican nominee.
I think the point is moot here since I don’t see any credible evidence that Cruz is running for pres.
Rush is right. The Left will always tell you who they are most afraid of. I think the biggest obstacle for Cruz is the GOP-e. They hate him because he’s not a Bushie and has beaten some Bushie opponents before. It will be 30 years since Reagan when 2016 rolls around. That was the last time the GOP didn’t nominate the GOP-e candidate.
I believe he COULD.
However, the Republican Establishment will NEVER allow anyone like him to become the nominee.
I hate to tell you, but you are honestly not 50 years behind where we are in the EU, you are much much closer than you think.
Don’t throw me in that briar patch Mr. Fox!
Yes but Ted Cruz was never naturalized. Know why? Because as a NBC he didn't need to be.
“Mr. McCains likely nomination as the Republican candidate for president and the happenstance of his birth in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 are reviving a musty debate that has surfaced periodically since the founders first set quill to parchment and declared that only a natural-born citizen can hold the nations highest office.”
So I assume you voted for Obama?
Why does the state of Al Gore wish to rob Texas of our Senator?
NBC requires that one be actually born in the country. It’s radical, I know. Imagine that. Actually having to be born in America to run as the American president.
Rules are for saps.
A candidate who appears to be truly Conservative and aligned with Conservatives? For President? There will be lots of screaming about experience, foreign policy experience, and all the other blather. We need a real Conservative and only a real Conservative will be able to win.
John McCain wasn’t actually born in the country. Imagine that.
Others wish to deprive Texas of their most effective senator for a fools’ errand.
Last I checked the Canal Zone = part of America.
Well, I did say 50 years "or less". Hoping I'm wrong (about the trend towards socialism) but afraid I'm right.
Yeah, CENTRAL America.
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