Fresh Off Iowa Victory, Cruz Calls Upon Reagan's Legacy in N.H.

Feb 2, 2016

Credit Casey McDermott, NHPR

On stage at the Crossing Life Church in Windham, Texas Senator Ted Cruz told voters his first-place finish in Iowa the night before was thanks to the same kind of coalition that united behind Ronald Reagan three decades ago.

“What we saw last night was we saw that old Reagan coalition coming back together again,” Cruz said, to applause.

“We saw conservatives and evangelicals and libertarians and Reagan Democrats all standing together saying, ‘What on earth are we doing?’ ”

And, with his New Hampshire audience in mind, Cruz pointed specifically, to the state’s role in sending Reagan to the White House.

“The Granite State shocked this country by giving Reagan the victory. And it literally, the men and women of New Hampshire changed the course of history of America and of the world.”

Richard Logan, a Cruz supporter from Derry, was thrilled to see his candidate perform so well in the Iowa caucuses. But he knows New Hampshire’s a different ballgame.

“It’s gonna be a tough road for him,” Logan said, waiting for Cruz to take the stage. “There are other ground games that are much stronger than his here. I’m hoping for a third, maybe a second here. I don’t think he can come to the top spot at all.”

Still, Logan doesn’t think a strong showing is out of the question.

Credit Casey McDermott, NHPR

“But I think he’s gonna get stronger,” he added. “He’s only got a week to do it. He hasn’t spent a whole lot of time here and so many of the others have. But I like his chances to be in the top three — which would be a victory of sorts.”

Cruz enjoys the backing of several top conservatives, including former House Speaker Bill O’Brien and former U.S. Senator Bob Smith, both of whom spoke at Tuesday’s rally.

From Windham, Cruz was off to a campaign stop in South Carolina Tuesday night. But he’s set to return to New Hampshire Wednesday morning, with a full schedule of events leading up to the primary.