MN GOP Support For Ted Cruz Ranges From Solid To Soft

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Some came to see their favorite conservative constitutionalist. Other Minnesota Republicans hadn’t made up their mind and were curious what presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz was going to say.

Several hundred people lined up in the freezing Minnesota December to get into hear Cruz speak at a campaign rally in St. Paul. It’s part of a campaign swing he’s making through early primary and caucus states. Minnesota’s caucuses are part of “Super Tuesday”, the same day as contests in 11 other states.

Cruz recently won a straw poll of Minnesota Republican activists and has dethroned Donald Trump as the frontrunner in Iowa which holds the nation’s first presidential caucuses.

While waiting to get into the rally, hard-core Cruz supporters nearly always used the same two words to describe the reason for their support – conservative and constitutionalist. (See our Cruz’s Conservative Constitutionalism Supporters video below)

Older white males, which make up a significant portion of the Republican party base, made up a significant portion of the crowd in line. However, Cruz also has supporters who are students, women, people of color and immigrants.

A man who said he was originally from Ethiopia said he was supporting Cruz because “I know a lot of Ethiopians have been cheated, and some Somalians, by the Democrats.”

“I’m originally from Mexico,” said another man who had been in the U.S. for about 15 years. He agreed that some of the other Republican candidates had been unkind to Mexicans. But Cruz “had been pretty fair.”

Another man said he was originally from the Dijbouti, a small country in Africa. “What brought me here was foreign policy. I left my country because of terrorism. I grew up terrorized by my own government.”

“I would like to see if Ted Cruz, what he gonna do about what you call a good terrorist. People who are so-called friends, listen to us, but they kill their people like Assad.”

“What’s he going to do about the Muslim boogeyman? I’m sick and tired of taking the blame of when ever something happen, blaming me. I have nothing to do with terror.”

Cruz, like all the other Republican presidential candidates, condemned Trump’s comments calling for a ban of all Muslims from entering the United States. However Cruz has taken a position that would also deny entry to the U.S. based on religion. In recent interviews Cruz has called for a ban on Syrian Muslim refugees.

Not Ready To Commit To Cruz

Others in line were leaning toward Cruz, but weren’t ready to commit to a candidate. “Probably,” said older man wearing a blue stocking cap. “I’m still looking at the field.”

“I’m here to support any candidate from the Republican party,” said a man with a grey beard. “Ted Cruz is certainly high on the list.”

“I’m a Republican supporter,” said another grey bearded man. “If he wins the nomination, yes I’m a Cruz supporter.” The man would not say if Cruz was his top choice but “he’s in the top four.” Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and “probably (Marco) Rubio,” rounded out his list.

“I’m undecided,” said a middle aged man. “You’re not a Cruz supporter?” our cameraman Bill Sorem asked. “Not yet. No,” the man replied.

“I’m Cruz curious”, said another woman.
Video at top: A sampling of opinion from people waiting to see Ted Cruz
Video below: Hard-core Cruz supporters say why they like him.

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Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

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