Evaluating Ted Cruz

imageMonday, Ted Cruz announced his long anticipated Presidential campaign for 2016. While Ted Cruz has a strong base of supporters, I do not believe his support is sufficient enough.

First, Cruz does not appeal to a broad enough demographic. Cruz is against legalizing drugs which will make him less popular with millennials, as Americans, especially millennials are becoming increasingly in favor of drug legalization, according to the Washington Post.   This is one of the key differences between Cruz and Paul. While Paul is not in favor of legalizing drugs, he does support the lessening of penalties for drug usage, according to the Washington Post.

Cruz announced his campaign and Christian, Liberty University on Monday. However, many of the students at the convocation were not present on a voluntary basis. According to Amy Holmes of the Blaze “…the university did not single Cruz out in any way, but that convocation is always mandatory regardless of the speaker.”  The Huffington Post reports that many of the students were, “…only in attendance so they wouldn’t get fined.” Last night on the Kelly File, Rand Paul responded to Cruz’s announcement of his presidential campaign. Kelly pointed out that in the audience can be seen a group students wearing t-shirts in support of Senator Rand Paul.

While Liberty University is just a small segment of the millennial population, it is safe to assume that the majority of students there are not only Christian, but conservative/libertarian.  So if at least a segment of millennials who identify themselves as not only evangelical Christians but conservative/libertarian are not in favor of Cruz. It is safe to assume that millennials of other faiths and those that identify with the most libertarian segment of the Republican party are even less in favor of Cruz.  Cruz is supported mainly by the older demographic of the Republican Party (those 50 and older) and to those conservatives who don’t have an inkling of libertarianism.

It is not just his views that make Cruz less appealing than other candidates.  Monday evening, some of my colleagues and I were discussing Cruz’s announcement. One of my colleagues mentioned something that had not occurred to me before, but I can see it now that he pointed it out. Cruz lacks a professional or “presidential” manner. It’s in his facial expressions, the way he smirks. The way he waves at the audiences, very Obamaesque. These are small things, but mannerism and personal presentation matter to people.

Charles Cooke is columnist for National Review Online and the author of the new book, “The Conservatarian Manifesto:  Libertarians, Conservatives and The Fight for The Right’s Future”.  In his recent column for NRO, Cooke points out that Cruz’s speaking style of preaching or lecturing will ultimately be his undoing. For certain scenarios this style is fine, but Cruz cannot seem to turn it off, he speaks the same way no matter what size or demographic group he is speaking to. If Cruz is going to win he has to reach out to new people pointed out Rand Paul, on the Kelly File Monday evening. However Cooke points out that the only way he can do this is by doing exactly what Paul has been doing, traveling and speaking. But if Cruz cannot adjust his speaking style, it will lead to his demise.

Follow Katherin Zehnder on Twitter at @KatieZehnder.

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