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Eye On Candidates
March 27, 2015

Is Ted Cruz Electable?

Texas Senator Ted Cruz was the first to declare his candidacy for President, and Politico reports that their weekly survey of political insiders in Iowa and New Hampshire finds serious questions about electability.

Insiders Pump the Brakes on Cruz

Ted Cruz is the first Republican presidential candidate out of the starting gate, but GOP insiders in Iowa and New Hampshire are overwhelmingly skeptical of the first-term Texas senator’s chances of being the eventual nominee or succeeding in the general election.

This week’s survey of The POLITICO Caucus — a bipartisan group of key activists, operatives and thought leaders in New Hampshire and Iowa — reveals grave concerns about Cruz’s electability. And after eight years in the wilderness, most Republicans want a nominee who can win.

Not one of the 100 respondents believes that Cruz would win the Iowa caucuses or New Hampshire primary if they took place this week, though there is widespread agreement that he is much better positioned in the Hawkeye State than the Granite State. And nine out of 10 Republican insiders in the early states believe Ted Cruz couldn’t carry their state — both Iowa and New Hampshire are swing states, though relatively small electoral-vote prizes — against Hillary Clinton in the general.

Many will likely respond that Ronald Reagan was similarly "unelectable," and they have a point. Cruz has many political assets, including stellar speaking skills. But its probably a mistake to completely dismiss they views of these political insiders as well - the reason they are insiders, after all, is because they've run winning campaigns and know an awful lot about the electorate.