Magazine October 17, 2011, Issue

‘As Good As It Gets’

(Darren Gygi)
Ted Cruz runs for Senate

Austin, Texas

In an unfurnished storefront in a nondescript strip mall, the Republican Women of Kerr County, Texas, is holding a candidates’ forum. Seventy people — most of them seniors — are fidgeting in folding chairs, as a projector beams images of the candidates onto a screen. Next to the slideshow stands a stout wooden podium, from which the emcee, local talk-radio host James Williamson, is addressing the audience.

“Now this is heavy, folks,” he avers. Kerr County is hill country, home to only 50,000 people in a state of 25 million. And yet this forum — with its attendant straw poll

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