We have previously mentioned Cruz’ superior organizing and fundraising skills, coupled with a low cash burn rate – now, the results of that effort are beginning to scare the Establishment and other campaigns.
He has more cash than any other Republican candidate. He is organized in every county in the first four voting states. And he has served up one strong debate performance after the next.
Now, not three months from primary season, rivals concede they have begun to fear Ted Cruz has an increasingly clear path to the Republican nomination. “Anybody who thinks differently,” said an operative with a rival 2016 campaign, “is lying to you.”
The same Republican rivals who relegated Cruz to a second tier in discussions this past summer now see this insurgent firebrand as the candidate who benefited most from Scott Walker’s exit and the one who stands to gain should Donald Trump or Ben Carson decline. Indeed, Cruz is seen by most of his competition as one of the few likely to still be standing in March.
[While Trump and Carson were hogging the limelight,] Cruz focused on fundraising and building deep organizations. Instead of living in Iowa all of August, he embarked on a bus trip through the South, a move that surprised other Republicans at the time but allowed him to lay the groundwork for mounting a turnout operation across a region where many states will vote early this cycle, many as early as March 1. Cruz, his eyes on the delegate count, even developed infrastructure to compete in the primaries and caucuses in the U.S. territories, dispatching a representative to places as far-flung as Guam and American Samoa.