Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) has just scored a significant endorsement in Iowa.
Bob Vander Plaats, president of the Family Leader, is a coveted Iowa endorsement, and has decided to endorse Cruz. He told The Des Moines Register, "At the end of the day, we truly believe that Ted Cruz is the most consistent and principled conservative who has the ability to not only win Iowa but I believe to win the (Republican) nomination."
"I think what's appealing about Ted Cruz is he still gives that 'outside' appearance," Vander Plaats said. "He has not been embraced by the Washington establishment community, on either side of the aisle. So he's still viewed as that outside candidate who really knows how this thing works and what needs to be changed."
Vander Plaats explained he did not support real estate mogul Donald Trump because he did not attend the Family Leader's Presidential Family Forum. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) did not get Vander Plaats's support because "the one issue he decided he was going to lead in Washington, D.C., with (Democratic New York U.S. Sen. Chuck) Schumer and (Republican Arizona U.S. Sen.) John McCain and the 'gang of eight' gave and gives everybody a little bit of cause for pause. And with immigration being such a big issue today, I think that's going to be a hurdle that's going to be very steep for Marco Rubio to clear."
The Des Moines Register called Vander Plaats's endorsement of Cruz a "triumph" for the senator. Radio host Steve Deace, a key figure in Iowa politics who has also endorsed Cruz, called Vander Plaats "the most wanted endorsement of 2016" because in the last two Iowa caucuses, Vander Plaats's endorsed candidates, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2008 and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) in 2012, won. The Des Moines Register said that Vander is "a master of capturing media attention."
"He has not been embraced by the Washington establishment community, on either side of the aisle. So he's still viewed as that outside candidate who really knows how this thing works and what needs to be changed."
Bob Vander Plaats on Ted Cruz
Cruz is currently second in the RealClearPolitics polling averages in Iowa and recently came first in a poll in Iowa. Vander Plaats's endorsement may just be what Cruz needs to secure a victory in Iowa.