Why Cruz Could Beat Clinton

6236460755_af70e60869_bThe main reason Cruz will be competitive for the presidency is the fundamental reality of the 2016 election. With the backdrop of a disaffected electorate and a deeply polarizing president leaving of­fice after two terms, any Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­ee be­ne­fits from be­ing the can­did­ate of change. Demo­crats are also deal­ing with their own deep­en­ing in­tra-party di­vide—one that, if it wer­en’t for the head­line-grabbing rise of Don­ald Trump, would be the de­fin­ing theme of the 2016 elec­tions . . .

Cruz brings some un­her­al­ded as­sets to the race, even as a weak­er-than-usu­al Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­ee.

First, he has a lot more op­por­tun­ity to re­ori­ent his cam­paign mes­sage for a gen­er­al elec­tion than Clin­ton has in re­fur­bish­ing her run-down im­age. Cruz crit­ics as­sume his me­diocre fa­vor­ab­il­ity num­bers will get even worse in a gen­er­al elec­tion, but his pub­lic stand­ing is bound to im­prove if Re­pub­lic­ans rally around him as the nom­in­ee. And if Cruz is so power-hungry, as his crit­ics claim, it’s easy to ima­gine him mak­ing the ne­ces­sary com­prom­ises to win a pres­id­en­tial elec­tion. He’s nev­er go­ing to be likable, but he has op­por­tun­it­ies to soften his rough edges . . .

Second, the polling points to a com­pet­it­ive gen­er­al elec­tion between Clin­ton and Cruz. Na­tion­al polls show the race with­in 3 points (ac­cord­ing to the Real­Clear­Polit­ics av­er­age), with reput­able state polls show­ing Cruz tied with her in blue-state Wis­con­sin and Pennsylvania. Cruz con­sist­ently runs far more com­pet­it­ively against Clin­ton than Trump does. Her num­bers have been con­sist­ently weak des­pite a fairly civil primary cam­paign in which Bernie Sanders has mostly stuck to is­sues, and avoided rais­ing ques­tions about her per­son­al in­teg­rity.

Third, Cruz is the most likely Re­pub­lic­an to hold to­geth­er a fray­ing co­ali­tion at the Clev­e­land con­ven­tion. He’s locked down the tra­di­tion­al con­ser­vat­ive base, he has half-hearted back­ing from the es­tab­lish­ment (thanks to Trump), and, not long ago, he was con­sidered the clear second-choice can­did­ate for Trump back­ers. Trump would di­vide the party, and nom­in­at­ing a “white knight” can­did­ate would risk ali­en­at­ing the clear ma­jor­ity of GOP voters who have backed out­sider, anti­es­tab­lish­ment can­did­ates this year. (Read more from “Why Cruz Could Beat Clinton” HERE)

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