To Ted Cruz, his success last night in forcing a runoff “is a testament to the grassroots.”
“This was a victory for a people,” Cruz says in an interview, “and it was an extraordinary demonstration of the power of motivated tea-party activists and Republican women and grassroots leaders to stand up to just a mountain of cash on the other side.”
Grassroots activists, Cruz adds, will have an even bigger role in deciding the runoff election to be held July 31. His campaign has spoken before about the prospect of low turnout on July 31, thanks to the heat and people on vacation. It could easily be an election where only the most enthused voters show up to the polls.
Last night, Cruz challenged his opponent, David Dewhurst, to five debates. “Now I fully expect his instinct will be to continue doing what he has done for the past year, which is to hide behind his checkbook and avoid actually answering the voters’ questions, but I don’t think that will work in the runoff,” Cruz remarks.
Is he concerned that he didn’t finish closer to Dewhurst, who led by double digits? “Not at all,” responds Cruz. “The objective from Day One was to get to a runoff and his objective, the reason he has spent over $10 million dollars in the last few weeks pounding the living daylights out of me in false, deceptive attack ads, was that his objective was to break 50 percent and avoid a runoff because he knew, as the lead pollster for the University of Texas put it, ‘in a runoff, Dewhurst is in trouble.’”