The latest Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa poll indicates Ted Cruz is leading the GOP field of presidential candidates with a 10 point lead over Donald Trump. This marks a 21-point jump, a gain that “smashes records for upsurges in recent Iowa caucuses history” according to the Des Moines register. In an interview with Chris Wallace that aired on Fox News this weekend, Wallace asked Trump his opinion of Ted Cruz. Trump stated the following.
“I don’t think he’s qualified to be president because I don’t think he has the right temperament. I don’t think he has the right judgment. You look at the way he’s dealt with the Senate, where he goes in there like a — well, frankly like a little bit of a maniac.”
Ted Cruz took to Twitter to post his response – “In honor of my friend @realDonaldTrump and good-hearted #Maniacs everywhere:”
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 13, 2015
Ted Cruz has stated that he will not negatively comment on Donald Trump’s campaign. In fact, he has praised him for putting a spotlight on the question about who is willing and able to stand up to a Washington that isn’t seeing much love from the American people. Last week, a recording of Cruz at a private event, however, indicated a change in this strategy when he questioned Trump’s judgement on national security. On Friday, Trump tweeted this about Ted Cruz’s apparent change of attitude about not saying anything negative about him.
Looks like @tedcruz is getting ready to attack. I am leading by so much he must. I hope so, he will fall like all others. Will be easy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 11, 2015
In an article published this morning, The Hill columnist Nomiki Konst explains that polls show Trump still ahead of Cruz include new Republican voters. These voters are “less likely to engage in the arduous Iowa caucus voting” and without their votes, Trump’s lead in recent general GOP polls disappears. All recent focused polls show Cruz gathering steam. Konst believes this is due to his steady adherence to tried and true strategies of messaging to conservative voters, investing at ground level across the country, gathering key endorsements, and fundraising. He has outraised the other Republican candidates and has been the most successful at maintaining cash on hand.
Cruz himself also cited his campaign’s disciplined, methodical approach, stating the following.
“From the beginning, the approach of this campaign was to build a campaign on a foundation of stone and not a foundation of sand, following the biblical principle of systematically unifying and bringing together conservatives”
Some of the ground Cruz has gained in the polls is due to the dropping popularity of Ben Carson. And in a climate in which American voters are frustrated with Washington, Cruz appeals to conservative Republicans. As he recently said when he repeated what his strategist said to him – “‘America hates Washington. Washington hates you. That ain’t bad.'”
In the latest national Wall Street Journal and NBC poll, Trump leads Cruz by five points, which means the two will stand next to each other in the upcoming CNN Republican debate.
In a morning headline today, Bloomberg Politics proclaimed that Cruz is poised to “steal Iowa” from Trump. They point to the same factor that was cited by The Hill‘s Nomiki Konst – support of new Republican voters, citing that the latest Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa poll shows Cruz winning both non-college voters and college voters. In the poll, even Trump supporters indicate a favorable opinion of Ted Cruz (73 percent of respondents) and 49 percent of them indicate Cruz would be their second choice. When asked their opinion of Trump, 60 percent indicated a favorable opinion, but they are evenly split between Trump (26 percent) and Carson (25 percent) when asked who they would select as their second choice. Trump does currently maintain his lead among moderates, who indicated they would choose Trump over Cruz by a margin of 28 percent to 16 percent respectively.
[Photo courtesy of Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]