While Trump may well take Iowa tomorrow, it's widely acknowledged that Ted Cruz has the strongest grass-roots level of organization among conservative evangelicals and other conservatives, in contrast to Marco Rubio's weak organization that relies on media rather than putting people in the field. I'm not absolutely convinced that Rubio's strategy is wrong for this election, but the election's not the only thing that's in play.
Monday, February 01, 2016
Rubio's strategy is based on everything working out just right, as it indeed has so far in his short political career, but he's not building anything that lasts beyond this election. Cruz is building an organization and cadre of loyalists. If Cruz wins the nomination, then that's great according to him. If he doesn't, and the Republican nominee doesn't win, then Cruz enters the 2020 race for the nomination with the best field organization of any candidate already in place.
And of course there's more - if another Republican wins the presidency, Cruz will be a stalking horse for the next four years, threatening to run against that Republican if he turns out to be too moderate. Cruz also will not be relying on building influence within Republican elites, so he's creating an alternative power structure that he can use to pressure the Republican leadership.
Kind of obvious, but I haven't seen it remarked elsewhere. Good thing his anti-charisma limits his reach, but we're going to have to be dealing with him until demographics fix Texan politics.
With that happy thought, we'll see which disaster gets chosen by Iowa Republicans tomorrow.