Ted Cruz has done a remarkable thing. He has worked for a year to build a ground game operation in Iowa. He has been to all or just about all of Iowa’s 99 counties. His campaign has rented out a dormitory and seen volunteers from around the country show up. They have knocked on doors, phone banked, organized rallies. He’s had Glenn Beck come in, Phil Robertson come in, gotten Steve King’s endorsement, and fired on all cylinders.
In Iowa tonight, the odds are that Ted Cruz will win Iowa because of his ground game. He has vans rented to drive voters to the caucuses and take them home. He has detailed maps of where his voters lives, knows how to contact them, and will be verifying his supporters’ movements to the polls. He has done everything right in the face of opposition from Washington Republicans, the Iowa ethanol industry, and Iowa’s own Republican governor.
But if Cruz wins tonight, the establishment line is going to be it was one mail piece sent to 3000 people that did it and nothing more.
If Cruz loses, it will be because of one mail piece sent to 3000 people and his unlikable arrogance.
The deck is stacked against Ted Cruz in Iowa today. Win or lose, the establishment, working through the media, will do everything possible to deny him legitimacy.
The narrative game begins.