Why these Iowans are choosing Donald Trump over Ted Cruz
Dubuque, Iowa (CNN)It’s the overwhelming question just two days out from the Iowa caucuses: Will it be Donald Trump or Ted Cruz?
At a Trump campaign rally at a local airport hangar here, the first of three Hawkeye State events for the GOP frontr-unner on Saturday, voters explained why they plan to caucus for the billionaire come Monday night —. Why they ultimately decided against Cruz.
In interviews with CNN, several voters said were it not for Trump, they'd've most likely backed Cruz in the primary. But a number of issues that entered their stream of consciousness in recent weeks —. Including Cruz’s stance on ethanol subsidies, his missed vote in the Senate on the so-called “Audit the Fed”. Bill. His record on immigration reform —. Helped cement their allegiance to Trump.
John Rubly, a retired farmer, plans to caucus for Trump on Monday. Rubly didn’t vote in 2008 and 2012. 2016 marks a return to the political process for this 68-year-old.
“I did sort of like Cruz. He’s got the same stance as Trump on a lot of things. But I didn’t like his stance on ethanol,”. Rubly said, pointing to one of Cruz’s biggest liabilities in this state. “I still own farms.”
Plus, Rubly added, Trump has something that Cruz is missing: a business background. “We need somebody in business who can get this country back and going again,” he said.
Thursday debate hurt Cruz
One 51-year-old from Cedar Rapids named Brian said he only made up his mind after this week’s Fox News debate, which Trump decided to skip. Brian has been attracted to Trump and Cruz because he considers both of them to be anti-establishment. But he was turned off by Cruz at the Thursday debate when the moderators and the senator’s rivals raised questions about his inconsistent stance on immigration.
“I don’t want to have to go and do fact-finding and find out what they said wasn’t true,” Brian said.
These and other interviews Saturday offered a snapshot of the fluidity of the race in Iowa, where Cruz and Trump are polling neck-and-neck. They also showed that the barrage of political attacks flooding the airwaves here are resonating with Iowans, who are notorious for making up their minds at the last minute in presidential elections.
For example, several voters CNN spoke to here were aware that Cruz had recently skipped a vote in the Senate on the “Audit the Fed” bill. The litte-known piece of legislation aimed at more stringent audits of the Federal Reserve is spearheaded in the Senate by another GOP presidential candidate, Rand Paul. Paul has publicly chastised Cruz’s decision to skip the vote earlier this month, and it’s move that some Iowans don’t appreciate.
“I know that he doesn’t show up to voting,” quipped Louie Psihoyas, 17, from Dubuque who will vote for Trump in the general election.
“You can say it didn’t have enough votes but if he felt that strongly, it is his vote and his duty to the people of Texas to get to DC to vote,” said Dean Millius, a 52-year-old from Dubuque who will caucus for Trump.
It was clear that Millius, who works for a material handling wholesaler, was also swayed by recent accusations of flip-flopping against Cruz.
“I can’t trust what he says,” Millius siad. “He goes one way and then the other way.”