Just like Gen. George Custer at Little Big Horn, Indiana could be “Cruz’s Last Stand.” He’s already been mathematically eliminated from any chance at a first-ballot win. His hope was that he could use “stealth” supporters among delegates, who claim to be loyal to Trump, but are really ready to abandon him after the first ballot.
Trouble is, again like Custer, Cruz may have had superior “fire power,” but that doesn’t help if you’re critically outnumbered. And worse, Cruz’s strategy is not working anymore. The Kasich trick didn’t work—asking John Kasich to work together against Donald Trump. The Fiorina trick didn’t work—naming a “running mate” with no where to run to. The Pence trick didn’t work—getting the establishment to pressure Indiana Governor Mike Pence to endorse him.
The Pence “endorsement” was labored at best, according to the National Review.
Ted Cruz probably wanted more than a half-hearted endorsement, but that was what he got from Indiana governor Mike Pence on Friday. “I’m not against anybody, but I will be voting for Ted Cruz in the upcoming Republican primary,” Pence told Indianapolis’s WCIB radio. “I urge everyone to make up their own mind.” The governor, who has always favored a gentler and more soft-spoken approach to conservative politics, went out of his way to praise Donald Trump, who can all-but-end Cruz’s campaign if he carries Indiana’s primary on Tuesday, for tapping into “the frustration of millions of working Americans.”
. . . sources familiar with his decision say his advisers by and large counseled him against an endorsement, arguing it would hurt his chances in a tough reelection battle this fall, and the 2016 race has certainly raised the question of how much endorsements matter. At the same time, Pence came under intense pressure from conservative donors, politicians, and media figures — many of them close personal friends — to back Cruz. The result was a lukewarm endorsement that left both sides unsatisfied. . .
Pence is already being accused of putting his own career ahead of what many see as the fight for the survival of Republican party.
Now, Trump is beating Cruz at his own game. There’s more than Trump’s landslide victories in five states last week. The important event was that most of Pennsylvania’s “unpledged” 54 delegates decided to back Trump. Nobody expected that.
There’s a growing realization that Trump is getting stronger, not less—and there’s a growing respect for the will of the people.
Trump won every congressional district in the state, earning him at least 14 votes from delegates who said they would vote for the winner of their district, according to The Post’s tally.
The group includes Lee Snover, a conservative Christian gun owner who owns a construction company in Bethlehem Township. Given her beliefs, she said, “my ideology is Ted Cruz. My reality is Donald Trump.
. . . even Cruz’s state director came up short in his bid to win a seat.
Even with all his focus on Indiana, Cruz’s numbers are apparently going down there. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC/Marist poll says he’s down by double-digits.
Trump leads Cruz by 15 percentage points in Indiana, 49 percent to 34 percent. John Kasich is last at 13 percent.
But the real sign that Cruz can’t count on the establishment “cavalry” riding up to help him is that the cavalry doesn’t really want to. Newt Gingrich says a win in Indiana will make Trump the nominee.
. . .there comes a moment and for Trump it may come as soon as Tuesday night. If he wins Indiana, I was telling him a little while ago, John Hines was telling me there’s a new poll that puts Trump up by 15 points in Indiana, if that’s true and he wins Indiana by a significant margin.
Then the fact is the next morning he is the nominee. Not the presumptive nominee, he’s the nominee. It’s going to happen.
Considering the damage that Ted Cruz has suffered to his image and reputation, the real question now is whether he has any political future at all. Even people who agree with him can’t stand him. His roommate at Princeton says it’s about his personality, “If he agreed with me on every issue, I would hate him only 1% less.”
And the roommate is not alone. To be effective, one must know how to relate to other human beings. Cruz isn’t even liked in winning efforts.
“If truth serum was given to the staff of the 2000 Bush campaign (which Cruz worked on), a huge percentage would vote for Trump over Cruz,” former Bush strategist Matthew Dowd tweeted.
Another Bush insider lamented: “Why do people take such an instant dislike to Ted Cruz? It just saves time.”
It is revealing that Cruz was the only high-level Bush adviser who didn’t get a job at the White House: he was instead given an irrelevant position at the FTC.
“He’s pretty much done for and stifled [in the Senate], and it’s really because of personal relationships, or lack of personal relationships, and it is a problem,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said.
The real question now is whether Ted Cruz’s entire career is at risk. Much of it will depend on how he reacts to a big loss in Indiana, if it occurs. Will he, again, deny the disaster? Will he become even more negative in his attacks? Or will he find new ways to manipulate the system, the delegates, and unwilling endorsers?
Circle the wagons, Ted, here come a “yuge” horde of Indianans riding over the hill. . .