Why Did Ted Cruz Almost Lose?
Though the most recent polls showed Ted Cruz trouncing Beto O’Rourke in Texas, the actual result was quite close — no surprise there, since polls are fraudulent from the get-go, and will only be as accurate as the laws of probability allow. But what has shaken a lot of Republicans is the fact that Texas, a surefire Republican stronghold, has shown so strongly for an untried Democrat, and against one of the most prominent Republican senators in recent years, no less.
What happened? Of course, the O’Rourke campaign had major funding, the likes of which the world has never seen. Still, one can’t help thinking, “This is Texas! And Cruz!”
So what happened? Here’s one little conjecture, from one little non-Texan.
No one knows for sure what is in a voter’s heart, but I sincerely believe there is a significant dampening of enthusiasm among a certain faction of Cruz supporters, namely the ones who saw him as more than just a slightly more conservative Republican, but rather as an uncompromising man of principle for whom climbing the Washington ladder and winning elections would NEVER trump (pun intended) standing on principles of constitutionality and decency.
When Cruz finally came out and not only endorsed the man whose primary campaign smeared his wife as an ugly lunatic, led arena chants of “Lyin’ Ted,” used the National Enquirer to accuse him of being a serial adulterer, and gave credence to claims that his father was part of the JFK assassination plot — who not only endorsed that man, but has continually inserted himself into the debate as a leading defender of all things Trump (refusing to say anything negative about the man or his policies, ever), it probably lost him even more supporters than embracing Trump gained him.
Trump fans, of course, say “Ted’s a good man after all, because he realized the campaign is over and accepted the result.” Cruz fans of the more principled sort are probably feeling quite a bit differently about the situation, and having a hard time drumming up the kind of excitement for him that they once had.
Just a thought.
(By the way, as an afterthought, I believe the conjecture offered above might also serve as an allegory of the dynamic between the Republican Party and principled conservatives and constitutionalists in general, over the course of the past generation.)