Cruz and the Lessons of 2010
In the Texas senate race, conservative groups played a huge role both by endorsing Ted Cruz and by helping him close the gap between his more modest resources and David Dewhurst’s significant ones. Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund, for instance, both ran TV ads at crucial times (Dewhurst was spending heavily on TV ads), while FreedomWorks helped train Cruz supporters on the ground, showing them to run phone banks and such.
One theme that emerged was that Cruz showed that he wasn’t only a serious conservative, but he was also determined to be a good candidate — with all the fundraising and organization attention that meant. FreedomWorks’ Brendan Steinhauser told me that while the Tea Party can push a candidate over the top, they need to be working wit ha candidate who could be competive on his own.“We learned that from 2010 with a couple candidates that shall remain nameless: You can’t just win with enthusiasm, you got to have a good candidate,” he commented. Full piece here.