Texas senator Ted Cruz is the only presidential candidate who hasn’t publicly attacked Trump. And if Trump falls, Cruz is best positioned to pick up his supporters.
Cruz made himself famous by leading a government shutdown in 2013 when Congress wouldn’t defund Obamacare. He’s repeatedly criticised the Affordable Healthcare Act, and markets himself as a Republican with conservative and Christian values who would be tough on terrorism.
Combined, Trump and Cruz are at 46% in the polls, according to Real Clear Politics, and their followers like them for similar reasons. According to a recent poll by The New York Times and CBS, Americans are now more afraid of a terrorist attack than at any point since after 9/11, and, like Trump, Cruz is aggressive on immigration and national security. Republican voters think Trump is the best candidate to handle terrorism, and the same voters think Cruz is the second-best.
Also like Trump, Cruz markets himself as a government outsider. At a session in the Senate earlier this year, he called Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader and a senator from Kentucky, a “liar,” and accused him and the rest of the Senate of being “at the beck and call of lobbyists.”
He’s also not afraid to attack other Republicans — just like Trump.
Story by Jacob Shamsian and editing by Carl Mueller
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