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Florida Democrats to Ted Cruz: run, Ted, run!

@MarcACaputo

Nothing unites the tea party and the political left in Florida like Ted Cruz.

Both want the Texas senator, who's on a two-day Florida tour, to run for president in 2016.

The conservatives want a man who represents their principles, and jabs a rhetorical finger in the eye of the Washington establishment. Democrats want Cruz because they believe he’s a sure loser in Florida, the nation’s largest swing state that Republicans generally need to win the White House.

And polls indicate Democrats are right. In Florida, it’s tough to find a Republican candidate who fares worse against the Democrats’ likely nominee, Hillary Clinton. She bests Cruz by as much as 20 percentage points.

So it’s little wonder that Democrats are gleeful that Cruz headlined a Sarasota Republican event Thursday, and was proclaimed "Statesman of the Year." Tonight, he keynotes a Palm Beach Lincoln Day Dinner, where newly minted Lieutenant Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera will speak as well. 

For Democrats and the progressive community, the stark contrast between Hillary and someone like Cruz -- who wants gridlock and divisiveness -- would be a dream match,” said Christian Ulvert, the Florida Democratic Party's political director. "Ted Cruz alienates everyone except the tea party."

To conservatives, the descriptors are all unfair; Cruz is simply making good on his promise to fight for them in Washington by fighting Washington.

“I spent all of last week in Washington, D.C. -- It is great to be back in America,” Cruz said in Sarasota last night. It’s a signature phrase of his that Republicans love. By all accounts, Cruz electrified the crowd, tacitly acknowledging a call to impeach President Obama

“It’s obvious that the state is aware that he is listening,” Sarasota GOP Chair Joe Gruters told the conservative website Breitbart, “and they’re excited about what Ted Cruz is saying and it certainly cuts across the bow of the establishment in D.C.”

Florida polls tell a different story about how much voters favor Cruz.

The last Florida survey from Quinnipiac University showed that Cruz would fare worse against Clinton than Chris Christie -- even as the “bridgegate” scandal began ripping apart the New Jersey governor’s poll number.

Clinton topped Christie 51-35 percent, but clobbered Cruz 54-34 percent. That 20-point margin in Clinton’s favor was bigger than any other against hypothetical GOP contenders: Jeb Bush (6); Marco Rubio (10); Paul Ryan (13) and Rand Paul (16).

The Sarasota GOP’s decision to give Cruz a “Statesman” award underscores the problems that Rubio has with the base. Rubio was the face of bipartisan immigration reform in the Senate. It passed; Rubio was excoriated by the right and now the guy associated with partially shutting down the government is their idea of a “statesman” in his home state.

The Democratic National Committee made sure to tie Rubio to Cruz in a press release that said of the Texas senator "This is what a ‘Statesman’ looks like to Florida Republicans: pro-shutdown, anti-extending unemployment benefits, anti-immigration reform, anti-paying our nation's bills.”

Hard-core Republicans will complain that everyone has it wrong, that the party needs a hard-core conservative. And they'll note that the Q-poll oversampled Democrats (some background here on that debate).

But the crosstabs of the poll show serious trouble for Cruz as well. Independents favor Clinton by 24 points – the largest spread. And only 2 percent of Democrats said they’d vote for Cruz. Yes, Democrats don’t vote Republican (and vice-versa), but that number speaks of deep partisan revulsion.

Poll numbers change. And 2016 is political light years away. But Cruz is a tea party crusader and his brand of Lone Star partisanship isn’t looking like Florida’s cup of tea in a statewide presidential election.

Comments

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Can't take anymore

Ted Cruz: a presidential candidate the Republican Party truly deserves!

joeblow

Cruz IS NOT eligible to run for President as he was born in Canada.
What they should do is ship his sorry A** back to Cuba where he belongs and let Fidel take care of him!

ed jenkins

The citizens of this state have honored a fine and passionate man who is fighting for the rights of the oppressed citizens of our country. Viva Ted Cruz! Viva El Próximo Presidente!

Lady Gator

Hahaha Marc... you wish!

No one gives a rip what the liberal polls say in Feb of '14. Hillary Clinton in responsible for the deaths of 4 Americans in Benghazi. 4 brave men who were abandoned by her and Obama in their greatest hour of need. Senseless and brutal deaths and she was in charge. And she blamed it on a fake video. You call that honestly or leadership? And furthermore, Americans are not going to allow a creepy serial philanderer back in the White House.

Note the numbers of people who attended this event last night. And Sarasota isn't Pasco County. It is not even conservative NEFL or the Panhandle. The movement you are watching was started by Marco Rubio and is not contained to the 'Tea Party;' it will be reflective of what Cruz does nationally.

Even the Democrats poster boy, James Carville, said Ted Cruz was the smartest, fearless and most articulate Republican he has seen in 30 years. Democrats should be wary of what they wish for. Once the momentum starts, even the media will not be able to stop it. Secretariat has left the barn. This is about saving America as it was founded this is not ideological anymore.

Chris Crisitie won't make it out of a (R) primary, nor is he a team player, he is egomanical & an opportunist. He proved that well at the RNC Convention in '12. He has a back bone but he is not moored to principle.

Republicans don't want a "hard core conservative" they want a man who understands the Constitution, the rule of law, that there is a right and a wrong and most importantly, how to promote a sound energy policy and economic growth for everyone... rather than bleeding the taxpayers, creating a dependent culture on government and taking away the American dream(and our health insurance) like Obama and Reid have.

The Democrats fully own Obamacare. How's that working out in the polls Marc? Where are your articles on those numbers? '14 will tell won't it?

Marc: "If you like your insurance/doctor you can keep them," BIGGEST lie ever and Americans know it.

P.S. Here's a fact: Neither the Republican establishment or the media is picking the R nominee in '16.

Highly paid Republican operative

You tell em Mama!

JEB 16!

-

I think "Lady Gator" did an excellent job of rebuttal.

The Republican Establishment is pusing a "Dem-Lite" strategy: Show (some small amount of) Free Candy & They Will All Come.

The Convicted Felon voters.

The Illegal Alien, Illiterate-even-in-Spanish-not-to-mention-English Voters.

The Section 8-Foodstamp Voters, the Abortion Voters ... they will all come running to vote Republican, if only we'd run a few commercials in (campesino) Spanish and some other commercials mumbling about Motherhood.

Ain't gonna happen.

Dems will always vote Dem.

Lefty-indies will always vote ... Dem.

Undecideds will always vote ... for the most Free Candy (since "undecideds" are, by definition, unprincipled ... or, to say it another way, do not adhere to any particular political philosophy). And Dems give out the most Free Candy.

And so, the Republican Party has ... its base. But the Republican Establishment and Leadership hate their base, and let us know it every day. And that's why we came out in the 2010 mid-terms, but stayed home in disgust with the 2012 Romney-care candidate. It's clear the Republican Leadership wants us to stay home again, while they chase votes from Illegals, Convicts, and others who will never, ever vote Republican. Ever.

Highly paid Republican operative

We don't hate the base but they must be controlled so they do not go off the
reservation. Understood?

Billy Johnson

Just what we need. Another inexperienced, freshman senator running for president.

The Birthers

Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father. Cruz is a great man, a true conservative but he is ineligible to be President, because the law of Canada made him a citizen of Canada by BIRTH. His citizenship comes from Title 8 of the United States Code.

Jeff Cummings

It's such a strong field, it will be hard to choose just one. Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, Paul Ryan and Rick Perry.

Lady Gator

Cruz or someone like him will be the nominee and the Republican establishment can shake their head (again) in disbelief as they did when Marco Rubio crushed their pick of Category 5 natural disaster, Charlie Crist, for the U.S. Senate. And this includes the faux "conservative" R "leaders" in Tallahassee and in Miami, who were groveling at Charlie's feet for the Senate primary, EVEN after they watched Crist a) never go to work b) LeMieux run the EOG, C) and watched Charlie wreck the party for 3 years with his sidekick Jim Greer.

These men endorsed Crist after they served under Marco as Speaker who they knew was a better man, but their lack of faith compounded by their innate wimpyiness, aka political expediency, is what guides them. They have an inner core consisting of over cooked angel hair pasta.

BTW 'High priced Republican operatives' ruined Mitt Romney's chance at the White House and to save our country, he would have won if he had a conservative team nationally or his family had run an organic team with a small inner circle. Mitt Romney would have been a fabulous President.

The base will beat the establishment in '16 like college level kickball players against a class of first graders. And then they will thank us.

Jim Caldwell

You're 100% right Lady Gator. We gotta get rid of all those faux "conservative" R leaders in Tallahassee and replace them with true conservatives that have faith and believe in core conservative values. These faux "conservative" R leaders in Tallahassee are going to legalize marijuana and casino gambling in Florida.

We also need to get rid of the go along, get along faux "conservative" R leaders in Washington too. McConnell, Graham, Collins, Cochran, Cornyn, Alexander and the republican establishment all need to be sent a message. Replace them all with true conservatives with faith and values.

We need to stick to our message of core conservatism and faith and not try to pander and compromise for the independents.

Jim Caldwell

and now, the faux "conservative R leaders in Tallahassee are working on giving in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens!

MarvinM

This Democratic voter might have voted for both John McCain (2008) and Mitt Romney (2012) for president ...

... if they had appeared to hold the same positions they did before becoming the Republican nominee.

John McCain - before becoming the presidential nominee - could rightly be characterized as a 'Maverick'. After the nomination? He tacked hard right. Hardly 'Mavricky'.

Same with Romney, in part because he ran away from his own successful state healthcare plan.

Note: in the 2012 election, the only two Republican presidential candidates I even considered voting for were Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman.


McCain and Romney both lost because they tried to pander to a far-right base. If they had stayed true to their own beliefs, either one of them might have won.

So go ahead, nominated Ted Cruz. He can't win in a general population election ... unless he can convince people he is at least a moderate.

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