On the Agenda: Dewhurst enlists big guns in effort to defeat Cruz
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In theory, there should be no way that Lt. Governor David Dewhurst could be losing to Ted Cruz.
Dewhurst has money. He has a great political team, including some of the best Republican political organizers in the state. He has the name identification that comes from two decades of public service and a résumé of accomplishments backed up by military service and private sector success. On top of that, former Mayor Tom Leppert’s Chamber of Commerce-type voters should break for Dewhurst in the runoff.
Yet, the chatter in the political world is that the Lt. Governor is in trouble.
Cruz is a talented orator who has spent more than a year meeting the grassroots. While he will be dramatically outspent, he has enough money to project a message. As a litigator, he outperformed his opponent in their few joint appearances. Despite endless polls demonstrating that Americans despise Congress for its unwillingness to compromise, Mr. Cruz’s message of refusing “to split the baby” resonates deeply with a good chunk of Republican primary voters. His supporters are perceived as more passionate and therefore more likely to turn out with their friends in a late July runoff.
Now, all campaigns adjust and adapt, but in the last week the Dewhurst campaign morphed into the Rick Perry campaign for Dewhurst. Perry political operatives have come on board. Immediately prior to last week’s debate, the governor cut a web ad with a full throated Dewhurst endorsement that was distributed to Republican primary voters.
Dewhurst no longer refers to his own accomplishments. He now talks about what he and Governor Perry did for Texas, from defunding Planned Parenthood to voter ID. As you might guess, Perry’s polling numbers among GOP primary voters have improved dramatically since his failed presidential bid.
But it’s high stakes for the now joined-at-the-hip Governor Perry and Lt. Governor Dewhurst. After all, in theory, there’s no way this candidate could be in trouble.
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