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Ted Cruz of Texas Eyes Evangelicals as He Kicks Off Presidential Bid in Virginia

By jumping in first, he will try to steer attention, money, and social conservatives' support his way to take the anti-establishment lead.
BARRINGTON, NH - MARCH 15: Potential presidential candidate, United States Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) makes an appearance at the Strafford County Republican Committee Chili and Chat on Sunday March 15, 2015 in Barrington, NH.

BARRINGTON, NH - MARCH 15: Potential presidential candidate, United States Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) makes an appearance at the Strafford County Republican Committee Chili and Chat on Sunday March 15, 2015 in Barrington, NH.

Photographer: Matt McClain/Washington Post
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Senator Ted Cruz’s plan to kick off his presidential campaign on Monday at Liberty University is an acknowledgement by the Texas freshman, firebrand, and tea-party candidate of just how difficult a path he faces to the Republican nomination and how crucial it may be for him to break out first and seize attention early.

By choosing to mark the official start of his campaign at the Virginia Christian college founded by the late evangelist Jerry Falwell, rather than a venue in his home state, Cruz is signaling he’ll court religious conservatives as well as small-government tea-party activists as he competes to become the lead anti-establishment candidate in the party contest.