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Cruz Courts N.H. Voters Who Have Second Thoughts About Trump


In this country, Republican presidential candidates are preparing to survive possible defeats. If you don't win Iowa or New Hampshire, your campaign starts looking troubled, and money can dry up. Because of Donald Trump's strength, many candidates are further down than they'd like - Jeb Bush, for example, who's been conserving money in hopes of going the distance. Ted Cruz is in a strong position, especially in Iowa, but he is also looking ahead. NPR's Sarah McCammon met him on the bus in New Hampshire.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: Trump is way ahead here in New Hampshire, while he and Cruz are neck-and-neck in Iowa. So why isn't Cruz spending all of his time there?

TED CRUZ: We don't view any of these one states as a must-win for us. We believe we'll do well in each of the first four states. And 10 days after South Carolina is Super Tuesday. It's the so-called SEC primary. It's states like Georgia and Alabama and Tennessee and Arkansas and Oklahoma and Texas. We've got an amazing team on Super Tuesday. And so we believe we're positioned to do well in the first four states. And we think Super Tuesday is going to be a tremendous day for us.

MCCAMMON: Cruz has the money and organization to go the distance. And he thinks he can win over voters who might be having second thoughts about Trump.

CRUZ: The most important judgment the voters are making is who is best prepared to be commander in chief. Who has the experience? Who has the knowledge? Who has the judgment and understanding, the clarity of vision and the strength and resolve to keep this country safe, to identify our enemy, to defeat our enemy and to keep Americans safe? And I think the American people want a steady hand at the helm. They want someone they know and trust. They don't want to wake up every day wondering if the latest polls might set off the commander in chief into a frenzy of tweets.

MCCAMMON: Just yesterday, Trump tweeted that he thought Cruz was nervous about his own poll numbers. Sarah McCammon, NPR News, North Conway, N.H. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sarah McCammon worked for Iowa Public Radio as Morning Edition Host from January 2010 until December 2013.
Sarah McCammon
Sarah McCammon is a National Correspondent covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for NPR. Her work focuses on political, social and cultural divides in America, including abortion and reproductive rights, and the intersections of politics and religion. She's also a frequent guest host for NPR news magazines, podcasts and special coverage.
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