Watch out, Donald Trump — Ted Cruz is sneaking up on you.
Political experts in our weekly ranking of the Republican candidates have seen a gradual rise for the Texas senator, moving him from 6th place last week to 4th place this week. Many see Cruz as showing signs that he may last long into the Republican nominating contest.
Cruz’s ascent seems to come at the expense of Carly Fiorina, who topped our survey last month in the wake of her strong performance in the GOP debates, but has since slipped back to 5th place.
“Ted Cruz is quietly putting himself in a really strong strategic position to challenge for the GOP nomination,” said Henry Barbour, a Republican strategist from Mississippi. “At some point, this likely comes down to Trump or Cruz versus one of the more traditional GOP candidates.”
Craig Robinson, editor of the Iowa Republican, agreed: “Quarterly fundraising numbers are one of the few tangible metrics in politics. … The third quarter numbers tell us that Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson are in the race for the long-haul. Carson is already a top-tier candidate, Cruz is showing signs that he belongs there too.”
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