(The following is the text of an email I sent to Katrina Trinko, writer for National Review in response to her article, ‘Can Cruz Pull It Off?’ on July 5, 2012)
(Full Disclaimer: I am a Ted Cruz supporter, but in no way am associated with the campaign in an official, paid or unpaid capacity.)
While I understand the objectivity which frames your column on NRO (Can Cruz Pull It Off?), I would like to illustrate a few points of clarification.
First, at the recent Texas GOP convention, the enthusiasm for the Cruz candidacy was astounding. I would estimate that easily 50-60% of delegates / attendees were wearing Ted Cruz stickers & shirts. It was impossible to look in any direction and not see the ubiquitous logo. The opposite was true for Dewhurst. It took quite an effort to find a supporter sporting the decidedly less popular Dewhurst sticker on their lapel. The delegates at the convention were the party’s base – strongly committed supporters from all corners of the state, dedicated to Conservative ideals, policies and candidates, and overwhelmingly they were backing Cruz in the most visibly ostentatious way possible.
Secondly, “Rick Perry was booed by some in the audience when he praised Dewhurst” is somewhat understated. When Governor Perry evinced his support for Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, the convention hall of 8,000+ delegates erupted in loud, sustained booing. Note: I’m not saying that everyone booed, but the ratio was decidedly in Cruz’s favor. This was such a shock to party leaders, that although it had not previously been scheduled, the State Party Chairman announced that time on the agenda had been allotted to allow Cruz to speak to the delegates (Dewhurst had already been scheduled to speak as Texas Lt. Gov. and one of the party’s statewide leaders).
Third, the result was explosive enthusiasm. A hall that largely remained standing through his address, waving signs & cheering (See short attached video. I apologize in advance for the poor audio/video quality). When Dewhurst emerged later to offer a much more subdued speech, he was received with polite applause, and respectful (if not disinterested) attention, and booed soundly when he offered a weak attack on Cruz’s position on a policy issue.
Fourth, you omit any mention of the phenomenal support that Cruz has received from local grassroots GOP, Tea Party and Conservative clubs and groups. Their support of the Cruz campaign has been instrumental in his rise to challenge the previously “inevitable” Dewhurst candidacy. The dearth of their support for Dewhurst on the other hand illustrates the failure of the Lt. Gov. to connect with the base and grassroots voters. In political terms, it seems as if Dewhurst’s support “is a mile wide and an inch deep.”
In my opinion, the final analysis leads me to believe that support for Cruz state-wide is enthusiastic, with backers eagerly awaiting the July 31 runoff. Add to this all the local clubs, Tea Party groups and passionately supportive Republican leaders at the local level all working strongly in his favor. My guess would be that given the extraordinarily high degree of excitement, a Cruz victory is likely.
Many thanks for your time and keep up the good work.