Cruz raises $3 million since Iowa win
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Ted Cruz's presidential campaign says it has raised $3 million since the Texan's victory in the Iowa caucuses on Monday night, stunning one of his biggest potential donors.
 
"I am just. ... That's just amazing," said Texas businessman Doug Deason, when told of a tweet on Thursday by Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe disclosing the latest fundraising figures.
 
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Discounting independent super-PACs, where contender Jeb Bush still has an edge, Cruz finished 2015 in the best cash position of any Republican candidate. 
 
Cruz's campaign has nearly $19 million cash on hand. He has also — to a larger extent than any other GOP candidate besides retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson — recruited an army of small-dollar donors, who can keep donating to his campaign in regular increments until they meet the legal maximum of $2,700.
 
And unlike any other Republican running for president, Cruz wins support from both the billionaire donor class, seen in multimillion-dollar super-PAC donations, and from the grass roots.
 
"I don't see how [Cruz] doesn't win it," Deason told The Hill in a telephone interview on Thursday.
 
"I know that the grass roots supports him and I know that a lot of the grass tops supports him."
 
Deason says he is poised to make a generous contribution to one of Cruz's super-PACs, but says he needs to have "one more conversation" with the Texas senator about criminal justice reform — Deason's pet issue — before he does so.
 
A number of donors in the powerful Koch brothers' network, of which Deason is a member, were frustrated that Cruz did not support a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill last October, despite leaving many with the impression that he was with them on the issue.
 
Deason's father, Darwin, previously gave $5 million to an outside group supporting former candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry, but the family decided last October to swing behind Cruz.
 
Deason won't say which of the constellation of pro-Cruz super-PACs he will pump money into, but implied it might be Keep the Promise I, which is led by GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway and is funded by an $11 million donation from New York hedge fund manager Robert Mercer.
 
"I really like and have a lot of respect for Rebekah Mercer (Robert's daughter) and Kellyanne Conway, so that's a real consideration," Deason said.