Ted Cruz Has Been Spending a Lot of Time in Iowa: Can He Win the Iowa Caucus?
Ted Cruz wants to be President of these United States. While this is unlikely -- the party elites dislike him, view him as an electoral disaster waiting to happen and he would never emerge from the "invisible primary" as the GOP elites' choice -- Cruz dares to dream. Thus, he has been spending an inordinate amount of time in Iowa, known for its social conservatism on the GOP side of the fence. (I wonder how you feel about him spending his time in the Senate as a platform for his presidential aspirations rather than focusing on governing -- but it's not like Texas is going to go blue -- or even purple -- anytime real soon).
First, it is interesting to note that Cruz is taking the exact opposite approach that took Obama to the White House: once elected to the Senate, Obama turned down almost every national interview request and tried to take on the appearance of a serious legislator (at least initially). Cruz, on the other hand, has been the proverbial political show horse, the moth to the media's flame.
Looking to capitalize on his media fame, as of late October, Cruz had been to Iowa three times in three months. One reporter thinks Cruz is simply introducing himself to a state where people don't know him (he's a "curiosity"); another reports that he may already be wearing out his welcome.
But right now, Cruz and Rand Paul are the "buzziest" candidates in Iowa. This is no surprise, they are probably closest ideologically to the last two winners of the Iowa Republican Caucus: Rick Santorum (2012) and Mike Huckabee (2008). I'm specifically excluding Rick Perry since he will simply not be able to raise adequate campaign funds in the invisible primary -- Perry's not a show horse so much as an equine who needs to humanely euthanized.
It's unlikely Cruz is wearing out his welcome, and more likely that he is building a foundation for January 2016. We know that only the most politically dialed-in voters are paying attention right now, and we know that Cruz is not the only GOP pol spending time in Iowa. Making a "prediction" two years out is a fool's errand, but Cruz is certainly a front-runner to win the Iowa caucus -- he won't sniff the Oval Office though.