Why Would Team Cruz Raise New Hampshire Expectations?

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, answers a question during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by ABC News at the St. Anselm College  Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, answers a question during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by ABC News at the St. Anselm College Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Sen. Ted Cruz’ presidential campaign has, at least until yesterday, has done a good job of keeping expectations low for his performance in the New Hampshire primary. Politco’s Katie Glueck reports that many see Cruz as an unnatural fit in New Hampshire and the media have given him a bye in the Granite State:

Several candidates, including Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and John Kasich, will need strong performances here in order to survive. Cruz does not.

New Hampshire is Cruz’s “bye week,” said former New Hampshire GOP Chairman Fergus Cullen. “It’s not like Christie or Bush.”

The polling shows Trump with a lead the insiders say is insurmountable. The Real Clear Politics average for the New Hampshire Republican Presidential Primary gives Donald Trump a 17.2% lead, and shows Sen Marco Rubio, Gov. John Kasich, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Gov. Jeb Bush all within two and a half points of each other at 14.0%, 13.5%, 11.8% and  11.5% respectively. So its surprising that the Cruz campaign released the following video in which Cruz supporter Steve Lonegan suggests that Cruz might even win new Hampshire:

Transcript of the video:

I’m joined now by Steve Lonegan a Ted Cruz supporter who once ran against another presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Thanks so much for coming in.

Thanks for having me, Chris.

So here, you just heard what Peter had to say about this being a state that in many ways that caters to Donald Trump it’s his constituency. We always knew that this wasn’t going to be the sweet spot for Ted Cruz. Where do you think you are, where do you think you can end up?

I think we’ll outperform everybody’s expectations and I understand that both pollsters and the campaign have downplayed the Senator’s expectations. Everyone does not expect Senator Cruz to win. And they didn’t even think he would come in the top three. But in the most recent overnight polls he’s moving up steadily neck-and-neck with Marco Rubio. This is consistent with the way Ted Cruz has operated in politics — his consistency,  his leadership, staying on message and we’re going do very very well tomorrow. Donald Trump I think will underperform because I don’t think he has a natural consistency. I’m not sure who his consistency is. But in that recent assault that you played on Jeb Bush, who’s only at about 5 percent in the polls you have wonder why he’s attacking Jeb Bush who’s not a threat. And that’s a personal issue. I call it irrational and inconsistent. He’s attacking Jeb bush calling him stiff, the name calling. I don’t think New Hampshire voters like that name calling.

You know back in Iowa Marco Rubio got a lot of attention and in fact there were some people on your campaign that were joking that bronze is the new gold.

The Senator said that.

But having said that, do you think in a way the attention on Marco Rubio and the pressure on him and people going after him at the debate work to your advantage?

I think it worked to our advantage, but again the Senator performed extraordinarily in that debate.

You think he can pull off a top spot …

I think we can pull an upset victory tomorrow, I do. I absolutely do.

From where?

Because we have a phenomenal ground game. You know we have forty headquarters set up from the state of New Jersey. We have a dorm building at the Chester Colchester College packed with volunteers who are living in dorm rooms overnight staying there day after day working the ground game. Never underestimate Ted Cruz many of opponents have found that out …

Having said that, going to various town halls, going to events for a number of candidates, one of the things that surprised me how much New Hampshire residents have paid attention to is people who are here and people who are not. People who have really made a play and people who continue to do the retail politics. Your guy there was a stretcher for 61 days when he didn’t even come to New Hampshire. Do you think that’s hurt him?

Iowa, you know we demanding you have limited resources and extraordinary demands. I think in the last couple of months we’ve realized that New Hampshire is much more in favor of Ted Cruz than people realize. Our people come back from going door to door. I saw this yesterday 1,600 people coming back from knocking on doors and they’re energized, they’re pumped up, they love the reception they’re getting a people’s doors. I feel very good about New Hampshire. I know I feel very, very good about South Carolina.

Steve Lonegan thank you so much and good luck going forward.


So there you have it. Lonegan thinks Cruz can win the New Hampshire Primary. Team Cruz  must be feel confident about their chances to have released this video.


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