Ted Cruz has a ten-point lead over Donald Trump. Now, I'm certainly glad to see The Donald get his comeuppance. But it's Ted Cruz, a man with a personality so petulant that he's effectively destroyed himself as a U.S. Senator, and a conservative so extreme that he has only a marginally better chance to beat Hillary than does Old Tribble Head.
Bob VanderPlaats, the head of a pro-family group here in Iowa, has endorsed Cruz. While I give VanderPlaats credit for his work in the fight against marriage redefinition and other issues in this state, he is, to say the least, a bit extreme. And unfortunately, he speaks for what is probably a majority of Republicans in a state in which Republicans are considerably to the Right of the party nationally, just as Democrats are considerably to the Left of theirs.
Ted Cruz: 31% first choice, 20% second choice (Total: 51%)
Donald Trump: 21% first choice, 14% second choice (Total: 35%)
Ben Carson: 13% first choice, 14% second choice (Total: 27%)
Marco Rubio: 10% first choice, 14% second choice (Total: 24%)
Jeb Bush: 6% first choice, 5% second choice (Total: 11%)
Chris Christie: 3% first choice, 3% second choice (Total: 6%)
Mike Huckabee: 3% first choice, 5% second choice (Total: 8%)
Rand Paul: 3% first choice, 3% second choice (Total: 6%)
John Kasich: 2% first choice, 2% second choice (Total: 4%)
Carly Fiorina: 1% first choice, 4% second choice (Total: 5%)
Rick Santorum: 1% first choice, 2% second choice (Total: 3%)
Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham and George Pataki: Each 0% first choice, 0% second choice
Not sure: 4% first choice, 4% second choice (Total: )
Uncommitted: 3% first choice, 3% second choice (Total: )
No first choice: 7%
My own preference is Jeb Bush first, and Marco Rubio second. It's beginning to appear more and more that Rubio is the only candidate acceptable to me who has a chance in Iowa.
Bob VanderPlaats, the leader of the major "pro-family" group in Iowa, has endorsed Cruz. Like the general run of conservatives in these polarized and extreme times, he vastly overestimates the number of like-minded people in either the state or the nation. Either Cruz or Trump would be crushed by Hillary Clinton in a landslide. Neither has any realistic chance of carrying Iowa in the general election.
This is alarming because this is an election the nation cannot afford to have the Democrats win. Yet rank-and-file Republicans, both here and in the nation generally, seem determined to lose it.