Texas Senator Ted Cruz officially announced his bid for the Republican nomination for President today. Is he a serious contender? To paraphrase a line from a former occupant of the White House, "It all depends on your definition…" In his own mind, Mr. Cruz is very serious - just as he has been serious about shutting the government down, defying almost every one of his Senate colleagues in filibustering for 13 hours, and being a thorn in the side to even his most conservative Senate colleagues. He is dead serious about bringing his "take no prisoners" approach to "my way or the highway" politics. And he will get some votes.

Right now he is in the third tier in the still early polls. And he has competition from a few other social conservatives and tea party favorites - notably former Arkansas Governor and Fox News host Mike Huckabee (who is polling in the first tier), Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (who is in the high second tier), retired cardiologist Ben Carson (also in the high second tier), and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (who has already proven that early polls mean nothing).

For now it is all about Iowa where social conservatives play well in the GOP caucuses. But this year there is a crowd. Mr. Huckabee did very well there in 2008 but failed in New Hampshire and split the conservative vote in must-win South Carolina. If Mr. Paul can get back his libertarian on all things mojo he will get droves of younger voters out to the caucuses and could win. Mr. Santorum came on strong and actually won the caucuses in 2012 but was denied the afterglow by an early count. The wild card is Dr. Carson - a stem winder at the podium but a dud on details. But Cruz knows how to get free media, throw firebombs at the Establishment of all shapes, sizes, and parties. He may prove to be a catharsis or an enema for voters looking to clean house.

But let's say he catches on and wins Iowa - just like Rev. Pat Robertson in 1988, Pat Buchanan in 1996, and Governor Huckabee in 2008. Where does he go from there? They all stalled and sputtered after that and he is likely to as well. In New Hampshire, the field will be no less crowded and he will have to contend with the ultra-conservative Manchester Union Leader which does like their candidates to at least have s hot of winning and a GOP electorate that is normally about 40% independent - more moderate in ideology and style. He will in all likelihood be crushed there. He could bounce back in South Carolina but not by splitting the vote with other social conservative, at least one of whom will remain just to block Mr. Cruz.

If he is still around, then he will move on to Florida which will have two favorite sons on the ballot. I cannot see former Governor Jeb Bush and Senate Marco Rubio not staying in the race until they get home. The next day Mr. Cruz will drop out - if he is in the race even that long.

So pay attention today. It may be the biggest day of Senator Ted Cruz's presidential bid.