Texas Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz’s victory over Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in Tuesday’s Texas Republican primary runoff was arguably the most significant victory for the Tea Party movement to date.
And Cruz’s victory continued former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s winning streak in the 2012 Republican Senate primaries. Palin successfully endorsed three underdog candidates in Indiana, Nebraska, and Texas in addition to Orrin Hatch in Utah.
Palin endorsed Cruz in May, nearly a week before the Texas primary when Cruz was not sure to hold Dewhurst below the 50% threshold, which he needed to secure himself a spot in the runoff.
Her endorsement gave the Cruz campaign considerable momentum. Cruz’s campaign featured Palin in their advertisements and get-out-the-vote mailers.
Last Friday, Palin, along with DeMint, campaigned in Texas for Cruz, and the Cruz campaign used video of Palin at the rally in their final get-out-the-vote note it sent to its supporters. Cruz led in the polls leading up to the runoff, especially among Tea Party voters. Cruz needed the Tea Party to turnout to ensure a victory, which is why he heavily publicized Palin’s support of his candidacy.
In a Facebook note, Palin wrote Cruz’s victory was a win “both for Ted and for the grassroots Tea Party movement,” and Cruz represents the “strong conservative leadership” that is needed in Washington:
Congratulations to Ted Cruz! This is a victory both for Ted and for the grassroots Tea Party movement. This primary race has always been about the kind of leadership we need in D.C. Our goal is not just about changing the majority in the Senate. It is about the kind of leadership we want. Ted Cruz represents the kind of strong conservative leadership we want in D.C. Go-along to get-along career politicians who hew the path of least resistance are no longer acceptable at a time when our country is drowning in debt and our children’s futures are at stake. The message of this race couldn’t be clearer for the political establishment: the Tea Party is alive and well and we will not settle for business as usual. Now, it’s on to November!
Palin also appeared on FOX News’ “On The Record” and said Cruz “is the man” to engage in the “sudden and relentless” reform needed in the federal government. Palin also gave a “shout out” to influential conservative talk radio host and author Mark Levin, whom she credited with having piqued her interest in Cruz. Palin said Levin had known Cruz for 20 years and referred to him as a scholar on the Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the Constitution, thus making her interested in Cruz’s candidacy long before he was on the national radar.