Ted Cruz is continuing to consolidate support from among many of his primary rivals.
Recently, as Ben Carson has seen a virtual implosion within his campaign, and with his poll numbers in a freefall, Cruz has surged into the lead in Iowa, and is in a solid second place nationally as well as in South Carolina, Florida, Nevada and Georgia. Cruz’s surge is largely based on picking up the support of Carson voters, especially evangelical voters who are leaving Carson for Cruz in large numbers.
But Cruz is also seeing support come his way from the “Liberty” movement.
Steve Hoffman of Horry county South Carolina, who serves as one of three at-large National Directors for the Republican Liberty Caucus, has also been serving as an Horry county grassroots coordinator with the Rand Paul campaign.
Hoffman tells us that though he still has a lot of respect for Paul and wishes him the best, he has recently decided to switch his support from Paul to join the Ted Cruz super PAC, Keep The Promise I. Hoffman said that, “Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are undoubtedly the two candidates in this race who are the true Liberty movement candidates, the two who support and fight for the Constitution and understand our inalienable God-given rights.”
But Hoffman cited that he has become very disappointed in what he says is a serious lack of organization and fundraising in the Paul campaign. Hoffman said that for months he had been urging the Paul campaign leadership to secure an appearance by Paul at the upcoming annual South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention in Myrtle Beach. “That was really the final straw for me…The annual tea party convention is one of the biggest tea party events in the nation and draws national attention. Rand was elected to the Senate, largely by support of those of us in the tea party/Liberty movement, yet he is going to be noticeably absent from the most important tea party event this year in arguably the most important primary state. Rand will be in Charleston for the debate on the 14th, why not stay around for the convention as most other candidates are doing?”
Hoffman added that his decision to switch his support from Paul to Cruz was also affected by the fact that Cruz has raised massive amounts of money and built an impressive grassroots army not only in SC and the early states, but nationally as well. “Cruz has the best chance to win, and I felt like I was wasting my time trying to help the Paul campaign because he simply lacks the money, and what’s more the dynamics to win a national campaign” Hoffman said.
With Keep The Promise I, Hoffman says he has already begun working as what he calls a “grunt”. “I already received my training with the Cruz PAC and have begun canvassing and phone banking efforts for Cruz here in Horry County. I am excited to be part of such a great effort.”
Janet Spencer, grassroots activist and Horry County Organizer for Keep The Promise I recruited Hoffman to join the PAC. “Steve and I have worked together on several local and state elections. We share a common goal of keeping our freedom and liberty. I am excited that he has joined us at Keep the Promise PAC and look forward to working with him” Spencer said.
Hoffman says that he believes that if Paul were to drop out of the race, that around 90% of Paul’s supporters, including his colleagues in the RLC leadership will coalesce around Cruz, though he doubts that the RLC itself will make an official endorsement of any candidate. “There’s no doubt that the vast majority of Rand’s supporters will come over to Cruz if Rand drops out at some point. The Liberty movement is not about a personality, but about advancing conservative Constitutional values. At our recent RLC national convention Paul and Cruz were nearly tied in our straw poll, with Rand being a few points ahead. So it’s clear that within the RLC, Cruz and Paul stand out as the two acceptable candidates” said Hoffman.
Speculation has grown that if Paul doesn’t not make the cut for the next debate on January 14th, that he may drop out of the race before the Iowa caucus and refocus his efforts on winning reelection to the Senate. Fox Business has limited to number of candidates participating in the “top tier” debate to 6, making it likely that Paul will not make the cut based on the necessary minimum poll numbers required to be among the top six candidates. Paul currently sits at 7th place with 2.8% support on the Real Clear Politics national poll average behind Jeb Bush who garners 4.3% for 6th place. Paul has refused to participate in the undercard debate which has become known as the “kiddie table” debate.
From early on in the race Paul has been losing a number of key supporters to Cruz, especially in Iowa where some of Rand’s top grassroots supporters, as well as many of his father, Ron Paul’s supporters aligned with Cruz.
The Iowa caucus is now less than a month away, and Cruz sits atop Real Clear Politics Iowa poll average with 30% support, with Paul coming in a distant 7th place at 2.6%.
By Javan Browder, Managing Editor – Conservative Fifty Dot Com