U. S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz defeated the Establishment candidate by 12 percentage points: 56% to 44.% Yet he had lost in the primary in late May. But a runoff was required. The Establishment candidate did not get a majority in May.
This is a huge turnaround. It sent a message to the Good Republican Old Boys in Texas: they have no hold on the voters.
The Establishment candidate spent $24.5 million as of July. Cruz spent $9. Message: money alone won’t work.
As to how conservative Cruz is, we will see after he is elected, which seems likely in November.
The significance of his victory is this: the Tea Party gets credit for it. His opponent, the Lieutenant Governor, had the endorsement of Governor Rick Perry. That did him no good. He spent a fortune of his own money. That did him no good. Nothing did him any good. He did not just lose. He was trounced.
The Tea Party voters also eliminated Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana in the primary earlier this year.
The Establishment has a problem. It cannot safely ignore Tea Party voters. It will suffer negative consequences if it does.
The clincher will be if Ron Paul’s supporters write in his name in November, and Romney loses by about that many votes. That would send a very loud message: “You can’t win without us.”