Since the beginning of his presidential campaign, Sen. Ted Cruz and his aides have touted the fact that they are running a national campaign, attempting to lock down the support of delegates in places far from the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
On Thursday, some of that strategy paid off: Cruz got the endorsement of the governor of Guam, Eddie Calvo. The Texas Republican sent surrogates to the U.S. territories last year to cultivate relationships in the hopes of securing the support of delegates to the Republican National Convention in July. In a letter to Cruz, Calvo said he support's Cruz's stances on immigration, the Second Amendment and against large government.
The endorsement is part of Cruz's strategy to carefully court delegates with the hope of locking down the nomination with numbers. He and his team have poured time and resources into the South, where Cruz believes he will play well with religious and conservative voters. The candidate has spent time in places off the normal primary map, including Wyoming and Minnesota.
The candidate sent Dennis Lennox, a Republican consultant from Michigan, to Guam and the Pacific territories for five weeks to try to secure support there. Cruz sent Calvo a birthday cake while Lennox was there; Cruz also sent flowers to the state funeral of the Republican governor of the Northern Mariana Islands.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 29, 2015
Cruz dispatched his father, Rafael, and Saul Anuzis, a former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party who is supporting Cruz and is spearheading his hunt for support in unusual places, to the U.S. Virgin Islands in September to ask for the support of Republicans there.
"To me, it’s like niche farming for delegates,” Anuzis said at the time.
Lennox, in an email, said he met with almost every Republican in the Pacific territories while he was there.
"I met with every Republican mayor. I met with clergy in American Samoa. Senator Cruz was the first Republican presidential candidate to ever send someone to Pago Pago, where I spent two weeks in the midst of a dengue fever outbreak," he said.
Now, as the Iowa caucuses approach, Cruz's team is hoping that its long-game strategy will pay off.