Cruz Looks to Arizona (with video)

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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As the Republican presidential primary moves to Arizona, Sen. Ted Cruz is holding a rally at a Phoenix Christian college Friday, and Donald Trump plans a Saturday morning rally in the upscale Phoenix suburb of Fountain Hills. Gov. John Kasich of Ohio hasn’t announced any Arizona visits.


On Wednesday, Cruz was endorsed by Republican  U.S. Rep. David Schweikert, who represents Arizona’s 6th Congressional District:

My top priority in Congress has always been to do what the Washington insiders simply refuse to do, and that is to reduce the size and cost of government and save our nation from the crushing debt that the Washington politicians have placed on the backs of each and every citizen of our nation. Throughout the never ending battles to do this, Ted Cruz has always been a principled leader fighting to do the very same thing. With a federal debt that is quickly approaching an unfathomable $20 trillion, our country’s future economic growth and prosperity are in grave danger unless we elect a principled conservative who is truly committed to stopping the out of control spending and borrowing that has led us to where we are today.

It’s clear that Ted is the conservative leader that we need as our next president, and my wife Joyce and I are proud to give him our strongest endorsement.  In the upcoming Arizona presidential preference primary, Ted is the clear choice for voters who want a conservative president who is truly committed to fixing the mess in Washington.
 Cruz is also supported by Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar. While Trump has the backing of former governor Jan Brewer and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Thursday the Cruz for President campaign launched a new TV ad in  Arizona. The ad titled “Grant,” is a 30-second spot that will run statewide in Arizona. The ad features Steve Ronnebeck, whose son, Grant, was killed by an illegal immigrant who was released from jail but not deported. In the ad, Ronnebeck says that he trusts Ted Cruz because he respects the Constitution and that “it’s time we put somebody in office who puts the American people first.” You can watch the ad below:

“Grant” Transcript:

My son, Grant, was killed working an overnight shift at his job by an illegal immigrant.
He was out on an ICE bond. He should’ve been deported.
My son’s death was completely preventable.
I trust Ted Cruz, he believes in our Constitution. He believes in the rule of law.
It’s time we put somebody in office who puts the American people first.
CRUZ: I’m Ted Cruz and I approved this message.

There is also a 90-second version of  “Grant” which you can watch here.

In addition, the Trusted Leadership PAC, the umbrella group for a cluster of pro-Cruz super PACs, is placing a $580,000 TV ad buy in Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as in Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz., ahead of the March 22 primaries.

Recent Arizona polling included in The Real Clear Politics Average for the Arizona Republican Presidential Primary shows Trump ahead by 13 points:

  • Donald Trump – 34.0%
  • Ted Cruz – 21.0%
  • John Kasich -12.5%

At the Weekly Standard, John McCormack is optimistic about Cruz’ chances in Arizona because the Merrill polling found  that 30 percent of Republicans remain undecided:

Late deciding voters have broken against Trump in almost every state that has voted so far. If enough of these voters and Rubio supporters back Cruz, he could pull off an upset and capture all of Arizona’s 58 delegates.

McCormick also thinks  Trump may have hurt himself among these voters by announcing by showing flexibility on his immigration stance in a recent debate and showing himself to be ignorant about the details of his own immigration plan in an earlier debate. In 2013, Trump suggested he was open to supporting “amnesty” once the border was secure and illegal immigration stopped.


On the other hand, at the Washington Examiner, Gabby Morrongiello reports that the hundreds of thousands of Republicans that have taken advantage of early voting in Arizona, make it even harder for Cruz to win in Arizona. Trump is also helped by the fact that former candidates like Sen. Marco Rubio are still on early voting ballots diluting the Cruz vote.

According to  CNN, Cruz aides predict that 55% of the Arizona vote there has already been cast, and they expect John Kasich to play spoiler and prevent Cruz from overtaking Trump’s early vote lead on election day.


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