Senator Cruz continues to capitalize on Dr. Ben Carson’s inexperience, gaining ground against Carson in Massachusetts. In October, Massachusetts polling data showed Trump with 48%, Carson with 14%, Rubio with 12%, and Cruz with only 5%. In one month, Trump has dropped to 32%, Rubio up to 18%, Cruz at 10%, and Carson dropping all the way to 5%. Now, this early polling in Massachusetts isn’t a good gauge of anything in a vacuum, but considering what we’re seeing in other polls, it appears that Senator Cruz is directly siphoning off votes from Carson.
Obviously, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson share the same constituency; so whichever candidate’s campaign seems the most formidable will likely be the campaign with all the votes at the end of the day. While I have tremendous respect for Dr. Carson and while his campaign staff has proven to be remarkable fund-raisers, they have done a very poor job crafting a clear message. Rand Paul, whom I also respect and support, has suffered from the same lack of message. Over the last few weeks the Rand team finally looks to have simplified its message and to have begun demonstrating why Senator Paul, and no one else, ought to be the Republican Nominee. Too little too late I’m afraid.
The success of the Cruz Campaign can be found in its’ consistency. Republicans are looking for a conservative candidate that walks the walk, and that’s Ted Cruz. That’s been his message from day one. Why is Ben Carson running for President? Why is Ben Carson the best candidate in the Republican field? No one seems to have an answer to those two questions, least of all the Carson Campaign, which is a serious problem. Carson’s support is still strong nationally, because he’s a brilliant man with an admirable character and it’s just hard as heck not to love the guy. However, as he delves into the policy alongside the Governors and Senators, he looks inexperienced.
Why is this important for Cruz in Virginia?
Surprisingly (and I’ve heard few people discussing this) a Mary Washington University Poll in early November showed Carson leading the field in Virginia with 29% of the vote. Trump is in second place in Virginia with 24%. Rubio had 11% and Cruz had 10%. I would imagine, if the same trend holds true in Virginia as it has in Massachusetts and Iowa, we will see Senator Ted Cruz skyrocketing in Virginia. Rubio, Cruz, and Trump could actually be very close together come the next round of Virginia polls. So keep an eye out.
Unfortunately for Carson, candidates who begin these steady, across the board, decreases in their poll numbers, rarely survive. Voters write these candidates off and quickly jump to their next favorite candidate. In both the case of Donald Trump and Ben Carson, the number 2 favorite is typically Senator Cruz. With the Republican and Democrat Parties and everyone in the television and print medias targeting Trump, it is hard to imagine Trump hanging on. That isn’t right, by the way. No candidate should lose support because of what the Political Parties say or how viciously the media goes after them. If you agree with a candidates policies, what do you care what the media says? However, this has been the trend over the past several elections. No candidate has survived the blitzkrieg The Donald is facing. Of course, no other candidate has been Donald Trump.
We’ll see what happens. The holidays will speed us through the rest of 2015 and come January 2nd, the primary season will be in fifth gear. Should be fascinating.
Originally published on VAright.com