What Are Ted Cruz's Chances As A 2016 Presidential Contender? He'll Likely Have Tea Party Support

Ladies and gents, your wait for the 2016 election, an arduous and restive one, will soon start to pay off — beginning with your first presidential aspirant, Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who will announce his presidential bid on Monday. Now that we are almost guaranteed our first candidate, obviously it's time to take a closer look at his odds: What are Cruz's chances as a presidential hopeful?

For one, California Gov. Jerry Brown doesn't think they're good. In a Sunday interview on NBC's Meet The Press, Brown said Cruz is "unfit to be running for office" because of his anti-climate change views. Cruz — who, thanks to a Republican-led Congress, is now chair of the Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness — is a staunch climate change denier, exemplified in his remarks on global warming in 2014 on CNN:

The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming. Contrary to all the theories that – that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn't happened.

So why is that a big deal? Well, with the upcoming UN Paris conference on climate change at the end of the year to decide on a binding, universal agreement on climate change, having an ardent anti-climate change believer vying for the country's highest office surely doesn't seem likely to be a success story to me — especially considering an overwhelming majority of Americans, including 48 percent of Republicans, support federal action on global warming.

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The Texas senator has been long known as one of the GOP's more prominent Tea Partiers, thanks to his extreme right views on many issues and his startling remarks about Social Security being a "Ponzi scheme" and Plan B an "abortifacient."

His expected announcement drove many to predict that he will be a polarizing figure in the Republican party, dividing supporters along conservative-moderate lines. Ben Ray, a spokesman for American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic opposition research group, told USA Today:

Ted Cruz has been running the Republican Party for years, driving extreme policies that put Tea Party politics ahead of middle class families. ... [His] run for president will do exactly what he’s done in the Senate: bring out the Tea Partier in every last Republican candidate.
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Although his Monday announcement will undoubtedly be welcomed by many on the far-right, former Florida governor Jeb Bush is largely seen as the party's leading contender for the presidential candidate. But, according to The Washington Post, Cruz has as good of a chance to secure the GOP presidential nomination as Bush does, because as the Tea Party candidate (which he most certainly will be) in the Republican primary, he will be banking on the support of the far-right, a section that makes up a considerable portion of the GOP vote.

God forbid, Cruz might just surprise us all in the end.

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