The Iowa caucuses are one of the most important dates in every election cycle. Every four years,the Hawkeye state has the power to make or break a fledgling presidential campaign. For this reason, aspiring presidential candidates sometimes resort to very desperate measures in order to improve their polling numbers on the hopes of winning the Iowa caucus of their political party in hopes of riding that momentum all the way to the nomination. Enter GOP hopeful Ted Cruz, who has been running neck-and-neck with outsider candidate Donald Trump.
Cruz has a lot of hurdles to climb. For one, he’s seen as a party insider at a time when the Republican base is desperate for outsiders to change the way Washington DC operates. It certainly hasn’t helped Cruz that many people has come out and said that among his peers in Congresds, Ted Cruz may very well be the most universally despised member of the chamber. Which is why his latest, most underhanded attempt at drumming up support ahead of February 1st is so mind-boggling.
Cruz’s campaign sent out campaign literature disguised as a legal summons. Emblazoned with a shock red heading entitled “Voting Violation,” the letter appears to be a ticket or a notice of a court date, not a campaign flier to encourage voter turnout. But this blatant misrepresentation isn’t even the worst part.
The letter then goes on to assign voting “grades” to not only yourself, but to EVERYBODY ELSE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD. Citing voter record as public information, the Cruz campaign attempts to publicly shame you into turning out for the Iowa caucus by outing you to everybody else you live near as an infrequent voter.
This tactic, not surprisingly, has made many voters very angry. However, Cruz has also managed to anger Paul Pate, Iowa’s Secretary of State, because the Cruz campaign has mentioned his office in the mailer, making Pate seem complicit in this desperate, troubling attempt to extort votes from his electorate.
Time will tell how much damage this will do to Ted Cruz’s campaign. But with the caucuses looming, this is definitely not the way to build up momentum to the White House.