Timothy Carney explains for Washington Examiner readers why Texas Sen. Ted Cruz appears poised to prevail in the upcoming Iowa caucuses.

Ted Cruz is the clear favorite to win the Iowa Caucuses. The latest poll showing him in first place is no blip, nor is it a surprise. …

… 1. Cruz has been steadily climbing in Iowa polls for months. Cruz leads significantly in the latest Iowa poll after another recent poll showed him effectively tied with Trump.

2. None of his rivals can match his stage presence. He’s almost an evangelical megachurch preacher when before a large crowd. In small crowds, he’s compelling and creates a feeling of intimacy. Iowa Republicans — the undecided and the Cruz devotees alike — walk away impressed with Cruz’s intellect and passion.

3. Cruz also seems to love campaigning — in contrast to Jeb Bush, who hates it, and Rubio and Christie who clearly see it as a job. After a shooting-range event near Des Moines, Cruz stayed for nearly an hour to pose for pictures and greet supporters.

4. He was the undisputed star of the show at the FreedomWorks summit in Cedar Rapids. His name evoked the loudest cheers, and his speech was best or tied for best (with Carly Fiorina).

5. Interviews with voters in Iowa showed that grass roots conservatives love Cruz mostly because “he does what he says he’ll do.” This sentiment reflects decades of frustration conservatives have had with the GOP — frustration that finally found voice in the 2010 Tea Party, and which has found its champion in Cruz. Relatedly, conservatives see Cruz as a fighter with spine.