Ted Cruz seems to have co-opted Jeb’s “slow and steady wins the race” approach, at least from a media visibility perspective.
To get an analytic perspective , you just need to look at Cruz’s long-term or 4-year media rating performance. It’s also helpful to overlay Bush’s rating numbers to get an idea of how the two GOP nominees slow-and-steady strategy stacks up.
First, let’s look at what I would consider an almost perfect slow-and-steady media accumulation by Ted Cruz.
Ted Cruz’s media story is pretty interesting. How did the Senator go from a 40 media rating to a new high this month of 91 — in 4-years? While his rating curve gives the appearance of consistent, steady media growth, there are really three “periods” to the Cruz media effort. First, 2012 through 2013 were hyper-growth focused. Nearly 30 of Cruz’s 50-point advance came in that 24 month period. Essentially, the Ted Cruz political brand came from nowhere to somewhere: 70 media rating points.
Second, the entire 2014 period saw the candidate in cruise control (no pun intended). But then in the third-period Cruz hopped on board the presidential media train and advanced his remaining 20+ points to his current 91 rating high. Nothing short of outstanding in a crowded field of 15+ GOP and Democratic contenders vying for media attention.
Moving on to Jeb Bush, the self-proclaimed media turtle (who suspended his candidacy February 20th.)
Ignoring the more recent downward turn in Jeb’s media performance, the top establishment candidate kept his media engine in idle until January 2014 when his “exploratory” committee announced, well, that they were exploring a bid for the White House. Then things got interesting and his momentum entered positive territory.
Bush advanced +28 points in 2 years, which is about the same as Ted Cruz’ trailing 12-month rating trajectory. How they got to the starting line is very different, but their growth rates over the latest 2-year media ramp-up are nearly identical. I’m not sure I would call a 30-point advance turtle speed, but the consistency can’t be denied. Jeb Bush’s decline over the most recent 3-month period is troubling and points to declining media interest. Ted Cruz has yet to hit a rating speed bump as his media ascent continues marching forward and upward.