For the past several years The Tea Party has been seen in the eyes of America as the Republican Party’s radical little brother. Ted Cruz’s rise in Texas has brought both validity and weight to the party. The latest polls from the Texas Tribune have Democrat Paul Sadler trailing Cruz by 15 points, 54% to 39%. In a campaign ad Democratic hopeful Sadler called Cruz; “The most extreme senate candidate in Texas history.” He may very well be, but perhaps that is just what the senate needs. Cruz is also exactly what the Tea Party needs. Names like Sarah Palin and Herman Cain need not be mentioned in the spotlight anymore.
The first debate between the two candidates at the WFAA-TV studios in Dallas resembled a heavywieght boxing match, with the two jabbing, not looking to take many chances at first, but I always felt Sadler was showing his nerves. Sadler was fishing for an angle-in by asking Cruz about his views on Obama’s religion and place of birth. Cruz would respond that he was focused on "the issues." Which he was, and it is hard to shake Cruz in a debate. Cruz is a former debate champion, and speaker of the year from Princeton. In regard to the national debt in the final debate, Sadler had to reiterate; “I’m not sure I’m explaining this the best way I can, let me try again.” During his reply, the debate moderator interrupted Sadler by saying: “Please summarize, we’re running a little behind here because we’re getting some great answers, but we do really need to be succinct." Cruz was straightforward in stating: “I think if we raise taxes, we will kill jobs.” Along with statements like: “I will not support raising taxes on any Texan.” Ted Cruz has a platform, which is for the people of Texas. The debates showed Sadler to be more of a tool for the democrats, backing Obama, rather than his own voice.
A victory for Ted Cruz would certainly elevate the Tea Party to a significant level. I could even see the Tea Party breaking off from the Republican Party in a few years as their own entity. Ted Cruz could be that figure to set off the national trend. On the other hand, I also have the premonition that Cruz will be running with Jeb Bush as his vice president, supported by Cruz’s ties to Jeb’s older brother George. Either way, Cruz is trailblazing a new path for the Tea Party. After his first run in the senate, which seems inevitable from the polls, we’ll see how big an impact he will actually have.
For real-time updates and live coverage of the Texas Senate race, see here.