Lansing — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s victory in Iowa will reverberate in Michigan, where the Texas Republican appears to be far more organized than New York billionaire Donald Trump or U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida with five weeks until the March 8 primary.
Cruz’s campaign opened five new field offices Monday night just as Iowans were handing the conservative firebrand senator the first victory of the 2016 Republican presidential nominating season.
The Cruz campaign has recruited chairmen in each of Michigan’s 83 counties and some volunteers have already begun engaging voters through phone banking and door-to-door canvassing in pockets of the state, said Wendy Day, Cruz’s state director.
“We’ve made a serious commitment to Michigan,” said Saul Anuzis, a former state GOP chairman who is now a paid senior adviser on the Cruz campaign.
Trump has almost no campaign apparatus in Michigan aside from hiring state director Scott Hagerstrom, who has not been allowed to issue a public comment since going on the Trump payroll in December.
While Rubio has fundraising momentum in Michigan by amassing the second highest total of contributions in the fourth quarter of last year, one of Rubio’s biggest Michigan supporters admits the campaign can’t even distribute yard signs here yet.