Cruz Catapults to Top in Iowa in New Poll, Leapfrogging Trump

13 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Cruz wins Iowa, Trump wins New HampshireOnce you get past the distasteful and often offensive rhetoric, it’s easy to see what Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner for the White House, is doing.In an email blast, Texas’ junior senator accused the Times of writing a “misleading story” and told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that it was based on anonymous sourcing.

Viewing ubiquitous media coverage of Donald Trump and the poll numbers showing big leads for him all over the country, you still may be wondering whether he’s well positioned to win actual races. Ted Cruz, and not Donald Trump, will be nominated as the Republican presidential candidate next year when the city hosts the Republican National Convention, a prominent Democratic activist predicted during an appearance in Cleveland on Friday. David Brock, founder of the liberal watchdog group Media Matters, predicted that Trump would lose the nomination, but would end up having a significant influence in Cruz’s campaign.

A new poll released Friday showed Trump holding on to his brutal lead despite his call for shutting out Muslims from the US, which outraged people around the world. He also predicted that Cruz in turn would lose badly to Hillary Clinton, in a defeat reminiscent of the 1964 presidential election. “If they crash and burn, and Hillary is president, they [Republicans] are going to have some serious, serious soul-searching,” said Brock, the founder of Correct the Record, a pro-Clinton super PAC. Most Republican voters surveyed for this Reuters/Ipsos poll — an overwhelming 64% — said that they were fine with the controversial call and only 29% found it offensive. Brock during spent most of a 30-minute speech at the City Club of Cleveland detailing and railing against the conservative political network founded in the 1980s by billionaire Kansas businessmen David and Charles Koch. And I think that is a question that is a challenging question for both of them.” Trump has eviscerated his opponents on social media since his campaign began, lobbing attacks at anyone who dared to criticize him.

Marco] Rubio led an October survey of board members of the National Association of Evangelicals asking which candidate they support — including Democratic candidates. Since March, Cruz has been highly visible in Iowa, courting Evangelicals and winning valuable endorsements including the backing of Representative Steve King. Trump may be on to something here — another poll found that in the aftermath of the San Bernardino shooting, fears about a terrorist attack has been highest in the US since 9/11. What is more, factors in the political universe – say, God forbid, another terrorist attack – can quickly swing public opinion. (Remember how Ben Carson’s numbers declined after the Paris attacks?) The good news is that these predictions are based on a study of past primary elections, conducted by elections analyst Henry Olsen, who is the co-author of a new book, The Four Faces of The Republican Party.

He also trashed, one-by-one, the top-polling Republican candidates as backing conservative policies favored by the Koch brothers and being backed by organizations with ties to the Koch network. All this appears to have convinced Trump to punch Cruz’s coordinates into his insult artillery, despite the fact that the two of them have maintained cordial relations to this point. “Looks like @tedcruz is getting ready to attack. It would be tempting to say Trump has survived yet another blow that would have felled a lesser politician, but that would be missing the point —he is not a politician. Here is what he, more or less in his own words, has said he is: a hugely successful businessman, who is self-financing his campaign and, thus, doesn’t care about political correctness. He’s surging there, having picked up several key endorsements, and his flavour of conservative evangelicalism matches the state’s Republican primary base. (Disclosure: my wife previously consulted on Mr Cruz’s US Senate campaign.) A few days later, Donald Trump wins the New Hampshire primary.

But even so, Brock said that Trump’s success while running on nativist positions, such as advocating for building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, is a direct result of a climate encouraged through a conservative grassroots movement supported by the Kochs and others. During the press conference Vander Plaats called Cruz, “the extraordinary leader that we need for these extraordinary times.” “We will be going all in for Senator Ted Cruz – We have found him as a man of deep character.

A man that we can fully trust, who has a consistency of convictions, who loves his God, loves his spouse, and who loves his family,” said Bob Vander Plaats. “We also see him to be very, very competent. Trump is way ahead in the polls there, and he does surprisingly well with Republican moderates who make up the largest faction of the Granite State’s primary base (see John McCain’s success there). He was in town to promote his new book “Killing the Messenger: The Right-Wing Plot to Derail Hillary Clinton and hijack Your Government” — but spoke only for three minutes about Clinton, the former senator, First Lady and Secretary of State. Party leaders, on the other hand, worry that if and when Trump leaves the race, he would have scared away every major voter demographic except the most loyal. But in response to a question from an audience member, Brock said he thinks Clinton can overcome doubts from voters on whether she is trustworthy, or questions from the Democratic Party’s base on whether she is progressive enough by exuding strength on national security issues, and by emphasizing her record.

There are lots of reasons for evangelicals to dislike Trump — his multiple divorces, his casinos, his crude language and his attack on religious liberty, to name just a few. (“For instance, some leaders cited his reported comments about his daughter’s figure, including: ‘I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.’ “) But it was a small incident that got evangelicals, according to multiple sources, snickering about Trump: His refusal/inability to come up with a favorite Bible verse. (He later came up with one, after “citing a passage about not bending to envy that didn’t seem to exist.”) Saying initially that he would not reveal it because it was “personal” struck many faith leaders as a transparent excuse. (Think about how dishonest one must be to fake religious devotion and the contempt for people of faith it suggests.) Evangelicals received further disturbing news when Trump declared that he did not know whether he’d move the U.S. GOP lawmakers in particular are irked by his charges that their lack of will is what’s behind the party’s failure to enact more conservative legislation.

We believe that he is exceptionally competent and that adds to his extraordinary leadership.” Vander Plaats’ support is crucial for an Iowa caucus win; in the past he has endorsed both Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. He said this time around, after examining the GOP field, he is backing the candidate “that can go the distance and become the nominee.” “For a lot of people I talked to in Iowa, the difference is Cruz is not as brash as Donald Trump. The Palmetto State is thought of as a very conservative state, but as Olsen points out, it “mirrors the nation” and usually goes for the “somewhat conservative” candidate that defines Rubio’s constituency. The real estate magnate delights in personal digs, from calling Jeb Bush “low energy” to branding Ben Carson “pathological.” Expect Trump to find unsubtle ways to bring this up.

Cruz wins Nevada on February 23, and then performs very well in what has been dubbed the “SEC Primary” – a collections of Southern states that will hold their primaries on March 1. The freshman senator has been careful not to personally attack GOP frontrunner Donald Trump throughout the race, a strategy his Republican opponents have failed to do. Or, as Trump calls them, “bosses.” “@tedcruz should not make statements behind closed doors to his bosses, he should bring them out into the open – more fun that way!” Trump tweeted Friday. But if you look at 2010, what happened was the Republicans took advantage of the new law and Democrats did nothing, and you got the result you got in 2010.

This is Trump-speak for “you’re bought and paid for.” Trump often boasts that he’s so rich he doesn’t need donations and the strings they inevitably bring with them. These voters have weeks before the caucuses to chat, work on their caucus appeals and round up like-minded friends. (It is true, however, that despite strong support for Sen. He makes fun of people’s looks — including rivals Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul — and physical deformities, as he did with a New York Times reporter. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), some evangelicals will still go for Ben Carson, Rubio, Huckabee and Rick Santorum, making it more difficult for any single candidate to overtake him.) Moreover, Trump is unlikely to get much support from other types of regular caucus-goers — the well-educated, well-to-do, moderate or female voters (his gender gap is large and widening).

I think he doesn’t want to be labeled as Trump lite because that is not good,” said Sanders. “I think he tries to fight that image by saying he is serious about policy in a way that Trump isn’t. Supreme Court, which issued the Citizens United ruling], do some things through executive action like Hillary’s proposed doing and ultimately correct a system that we certainly don’t like, even though we’re participating in it.

According to one analysis, between January and November, ABC, NBC and CBS gave 234 minutes to Trump, while Marco Rubio, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz combined got 83 minutes. With the exception of immigration and the blocking of Muslims at the US border, “Trump’s actual policy positions are generally more moderate than Cruz’s, and his support within the GOP primary electorate does not look particularly ideological,” wrote Vox’s Matthew Yglesias earlier this month. Trump’s constant attention-grabbing antics may momentarily lift poll numbers (reflecting views of those we are not certain will vote), but his outlandish comments also stir up opposition.

What it doesn’t explain is Donald Trump.” If Trump maintains his strength, Mr Olsen says: “This will be the first election in 20 years where the dividing lines will not be ideological, they will be class-based.” Now, there is a theory that Trump’s poll numbers are exaggerated. Whereas in my view, it wasn’t until about a dozen years ago where progressives and Democrats got serious about building long-term infrastructure to fight for their priorities and their values.

The first state contest will be fascinating insofar as we will get some handle on who Trump voters really are, whether they turn out to vote and how strong the antipathy toward him from other Republicans may be. Just this week, it was reported that top Republican leaders gathered to discuss a way to thwart Donald Trump from winning the nomination, with the possibility that it would take an 11th-hour floor fight at the convention to stop him. This could conceivably happen if the candidates take turns winning states, as I predicted above (for example, if Cruz wins Iowa, Trump wins New Hampshire, and Rubio wins South Carolina, etc). Lewis is a senior contributor at The Daily Caller website in Washington, DC and is author of the forthcoming book “Too Dumb to Fail: How the GOP Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Win Elections (and How It Can Reclaim Its Conservative Roots)”

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