We don’t need a whole lot of introduction to this, but we’ll have some analysis afterwards.
There is a poll out from NBC News, that we’ll have a bit more on later today, which is the first post-debate poll. It shows Cruz jumping into second place, which may or may not be significant, but if there is a candidate with actual momentum in the uber-crowded GOP race it could well be Cruz.
And this speech is a good reason why. In it, he goes through the timeline of why the conservative base of the GOP is unhappy – it’s because the party’s leaders broke faith with the voters and have refused to fight Obama. Cruz hasn’t been part of that betrayal, and that’s why he’s a credible receptacle for anti-establishment conservatism.
As it happens he’s also one of the most articulate speakers among the GOP field. He’s even got a flair for the dramatic. He’s also known as one of the smartest people in American politics.
And his message is a far more detailed, intellectually-supportable version of the things Donald Trump has been saying to win disaffected voters.
Cruz has positioned himself to inherit those Trump voters if and when Trump collapses. It’s possible that strategy could be beginning to pay off.
And if it does, Cruz will be what the mainstream media hates – the first legitimate, unapologetic conservative Republican nominee since Ronald Reagan.