Palin, DeMint to rally for Ted Cruz in Houston on Friday

In case you need more proof that Cruz has a very real chance of pulling this upset, he’s now got tea-party icons ready to spend political capital — in person — on pushing him over the top.

Sarah Palin is getting back on the campaign trail. She’ll hit the road this Friday at an evening rally for Ted Cruz, Texas candidate for the U.S. Senate, at the Woodlands, north of Houston, his campaign and a Palin friend confirmed for ABC News…

And it’s not just Palin. South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint will also be on hand for the 6 p.m. rally. Glenn Beck will be featured at another rally Thursday at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas and Rick Santorum will be campaigning with Cruz over the weekend, although the details are still being worked out…

The former Alaska governor has a stellar GOP primary endorsement record so far this cycle. She backed Orrin Hatch in his Senate primary in Utah, Richard Mourdock in his primary against Dick Lugar in Indiana, and helped Deb Fischer with her surprise victory in Nebraska. She still has not formally endorsed Mitt Romney nor joined him on the campaign trail.

Even in Texas, tea partiers are outnumbered by non-tea partiers — but not by much. According to PPP’s poll taken two weeks ago, fully 40 percent of the electorate identifies as TP and Cruz utterly crushes Dewhurst among them, 71/26. Dewhurst, meanwhile, leads 57/34 among the 50 percent of Texas Republicans who say they’re non-TPers. Inviting Palin and DeMint is thus a no-brainer: Not only is it a way to widen Cruz’s already gigantic lead among TPers, it’s a fire alarm for those who haven’t paid much attention to the race yet (are there any conservatives in Texas who haven’t?) to let them know they need to turn out next Tuesday. Not good enough? All right: The Tea Party Express is hosting a “radiothon” on Cruz’s behalf tonight at 9 p.m. with the entire Senate tea-party caucus as guests. National conservative all-stars are now all-in for the upstart. Except for, er, Huck.

As further reading, here’s National Journal with four signs that “Cruz-mentum” is taking hold in Texas. And if you’re still inclined to doubt, here’s how desperate a pro-Dewhurst group is to take him down before the polls open next week. Wow.

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