Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune

KUT News

From the Texas Tribune: Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has taken his first-ever lead in an early state poll, surging past billionaire Donald Trump to the no. 1 spot in Iowa. 

In a Monmouth University poll released Monday, the Texas senator leads Trump 24 percent to 19 percent among likely caucus-goers. His support in the survey has spiked 14 percentage points since October. 

KUT News

From the Texas Tribune: Ted Cruz on Monday offered a spirited defense of Republicans on women's health issues, accusing Democrats of creating a phony "war on women" based on claims that his party wants to restrict access to birth control.

"The last I checked, we don't have a rubber shortage in America," the GOP presidential candidate said during a town hall here, responding to a question about the availability of contraception to women who want it.

Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Seeking to show Texas Republicans are coalescing behind his presidential effort, Ted Cruz on Monday unveiled the endorsement of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a onetime critic of sorts whose backing gives the U.S. senator his biggest boost yet back home.

Calling it "an important morning in the Republican presidential campaign," Cruz convened Patrick and two other statewide officials at his campaign headquarters here to announce their support as well as that of a half-dozen major donors to former Gov. Rick Perry.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

From our political reporting partners at The Texas Tribune

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