Influential conservative Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace has officially endorsed Texas Senator Ted Cruz for president.
“The candidate we are supporting is Texas Senator Ted Cruz…He’s what we’ve been waiting for,” said the conservative host.
The announcement, which Deace made on his radio program on Wednesday afternoon, came two days ahead of the candidate’s visit to the Iowa State Fair and about six months ahead of the Iowa Republican Caucus.
He also tweeted about the endorsement after making the announcement on the air.
The syndicated radio host has promised to fully put his weight behind Cruz’s candidacy on his air waves in order to push him toward a victory in Iowa.
“My wife and I have decided we are going to back a candidate early again for 2016 and then do everything we can to help him win Iowa,” Deace told NBC News last week and has emphasized on his website continuously throughout the past year.
The Christian host wields a large amount of influence among conservative evangelical Iowans and he demonstrated his reach in 2008, when he endorsed former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee early in 2007. Deace promoted Governor Huckabee on his radio program for months leading into caucus season, and it is widely said to have played a considerable part in helping the governor win the Iowa caucuses.
In contrast, Deace threw his support behind former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich less than a week ahead of the 2012 caucuses, and Gingrich finished in distant fourth on caucus night.
U.S. Representative Steve King from Iowa explained the importance of the evangelical caucus goer to NBC News on Wednesday.
"Well we’re talking about caucus goers, so the business community doesn’t turn that many out from a numbers standpoint. The Evangelical does. I mean when the pastors step up to the pulpit and say ‘Here’s how you get a godly government, you show up and caucus and vote for a godly candidate, that’s powerful.'"
Representative King, whose endorsement would carry a tremendous amount of influence with conservatives in Iowa, said on Deace’s radio program earlier Wednesday that he would not be endorsing a candidate for at least a month or two, though he looked forward to hearing who the radio host supported.
Just a few weeks ago, Deace wrote that he had narrowed the field of 17 Republican presidential candidates to four: Senator Cruz, Governor Huckabee, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.