Could Ted Cruz End Up as the Establishment Candidate?

 

That’s what Scott McKay is asking today in an article from The American Spectator:

Here’s a theory to ponder: after the first round of dropouts, in which Rick Perry’s impending demise is joined by several others — Christie, George Pataki, Lindsey Graham, Jim Gilmore, perhaps Bobby Jindal — the likely beneficiary will be the candidate best suited to pull their voters. And for many, that could be Cruz. Cruz has regional strength in Texas and Louisiana, which could translate into his picking up Perry and Jindal supporters. Despite his clashes with Graham in the Senate, Cruz’ calls for a muscular foreign policy could appeal to the several dozen supporters the South Carolinian has amassed. Those of Christie’s supporters who came to him for his combative style might look to Cruz rather than Trump.

And then after the second round of dropouts, Cruz could gain even more support. Particularly should Paul leave the race; if he isn’t gaining ground, at some point he’s going to have to consider whether his smartest play won’t be to return to Kentucky to defend his Senate seat, and Cruz is a friend and partner in many cases (though for Paul so is Mitch McConnell, which makes for an interesting conflict). Should Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum drop out, none of the others has put in more work to attract the social conservatives they represent than Cruz.

More:

By this point, we might be close to the March 1 “Super Tuesday” primaries, most of which will take place in Deep South states where Cruz has trained his focus toward developing strength. He’s been outshone by Trump in most of them to date, but Cruz is building more organization in those states than any other candidate.

We could see a situation where Trump is ahead on the strength of his performance in the early states and still leads in the polls, though he might have commenced fading in the face of the various challenges befalling a presidential candidate and the terror gripping the party of having to nominate a bull-in-a-China-shop like the real estate magnate has not subsided. But while the establishment might believe Trump is beatable, they could be without candidates to beat him.

And at that juncture, the unthinkable might become inevitable; namely, that the RINO/Chamber of Commerce GOP establishment might well see Ted Cruz as their only hope to stop Donald Trump from getting the Republican nomination.

A thought-provoking scenario, no doubt. But as a staunch supporter of Ted Cruz – and in the past, of Sarah Palin – I must ask: what’s it like being a RINO squish?

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  1. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    I don’t fully buy the Establishment stuff — all those millions of dollars they donate aren’t worth anything if no one votes for their preferred candidate — but I think there’s actually some plausibility for this, at least for Cruz being one of the last men standing.

    • #1
  2. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    In addition to Tom’s point, I don’t think Trump will be a long-term factor in this primary. We have seen this movie in every recent Republican primary: disgruntled conservatives get behind a very vocal, controversial, populist candidate early on. As the actual election draws near, they slowly shift toward one of the more serious candidates. I’ll gladly place a big wager that Trump will be a sideshow by January.

    That said, Cruz is definitely setting himself up to be a strong candidate over the long run. He is apparently quietly making lots of positive appearances in Southern states, and I could easily see him cleaning up in the “SEC primary” – a very astute strategy. And the article is correct that Cruz is placed well to inherit the supporters of candidates like Perry, Jindal, Huckabee, and even Trump himself.

    Cruz will be a force to reckon with, and rightfully so: he is the best candidate in the field to represent the stringent conservative wing of the electorate.

    • #2
  3. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    I definitely agree Cruz could absorb Perry and Jindal and even Huckabee voters but that still leaves Rubio, Fiorina and Kasich to contend with. I’d guess the latter three might be more attractive to Independents and wouldn’t offend the base or the RINOs.

    • #3
  4. Salvatore Padula Inactive
    Salvatore Padula
    @SalvatorePadula

    I stopped taking the article seriously when it predicted the demise of Jim Gilmore. Gilmore is the only choice for true conservatives. America needs Gilmore. Gilmania 2016!

    • #4
  5. rico Inactive
    rico
    @rico

    Allahpundit theorizes that the donor class would toss Jeb aside and rally behind a “save us, Marco!” campaign long before the race is winnowed down to Trump vs. Cruz.

    The establishment $$$ is there. It will find the pocket of the most feasible establishmentish (Jeb/Rubio/Walker) candidate. If Cruz is a contender down the stretch it will be without establishment support.

    • #5
  6. rico Inactive
    rico
    @rico

    Mendel: stringent conservative

    …delightfully Romneyesque ;-)

    • #6
  7. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Mendel: I’ll gladly place a big wager that Trump will be a sideshow by January.

    I’m going to have a headache until January? Ugh.

    • #7
  8. Salvatore Padula Inactive
    Salvatore Padula
    @SalvatorePadula

    Mendel: “I’ll gladly place a big wager that Trump will be a sideshow by January.”

    Are you willing to give odds? I think you’re probably right, but I think there’s a not insignificant chance of Trump going all in, even to the extent of a third party run.

    • #8
  9. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Salvatore Padula:Mendel: “I’ll gladly place a big wager that Trump will be a sideshow by January.”

    Are you willing to give odds?

    I’d give it 2:1 odds.

    Of course, the sticking point is how to define “sideshow”. Given his gumption and his personal wealth, it wouldn’t surprise me if Trump was still in the race with a big machine come January.

    But I’m confident that by then, he will not be among the top 4 contenders for the Republican primary by polling, or that he will not have more than 10% in the polls nationally if he decides to go independent/third-party. I also think his press coverage will have soured considerably by then, with even most conservative press giving him the “what is this guy still doing here?” treatment.

    • #9
  10. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    A corollary question to this post: assuming Cruz is in the top 4 in the Republican primary come March 2016, what are the chances he starts to drastically moderate his platform?

    Thanks to his thoughtful demeanor, his gift with words and debate, and his relative lack of a track record, Cruz has quite a bit of leeway to soften his political stances without looking like a hypocrite. And he has shown himself to be a very astute tactician, with an acute sense of how the political winds are blowing at any given moment and a knack for figuring out how to maximize his own electoral potential.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if, come spring of next year, Cruz has adopted positions which might seem completely out of character for him now, such as increasing legal immigration for certain types of foreigners, or replacing Obamacare with some system of government-funded premium support.

    • #10
  11. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Salvatore Padula:Mendel: “I’ll gladly place a big wager that Trump will be a sideshow by January.”

    Are you willing to give odds? I think you’re probably right, but I think there a not insignificant chance of Trump going all in, even to the extent of a third party run.

    Trump’s far too egotistical and savvy to go third party because that means he would lose and more importantly, he’d alienate a lot of political cronies important to his business.

    He’s going to go down to the wire to get the more prestigious trophy of the GOP nomination.

    • #11
  12. Yeah...ok. Inactive
    Yeah...ok.
    @Yeahok

    I think I would enjoy voting for Cruz. I hope, when he gets corrupted he lies to the establishment and tells the truth to the voters.

    I think I would enjoy Trump running as a Democrat. Why not? The Establishment tells us Trump is not conservative? If Trump is such a buffoon our great bench should be able to beat him in the general if Trump is the Democrat.

    • #12
  13. Guruforhire Inactive
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Even when he gets all that Bush money, he still won’t be able to buy a chin. America isn’t ready for a chinless president.

    • #13
  14. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Guruforhire:Even when he gets all that Bush money, he still won’t be able to buy a chin.America isn’t ready for a chinless president.

    That’s what I keep tellin’ you guys! It shouldn’t matter but it does. It should matter who’s smart, but Adlai Stevenson was smart. Bill Clinton got elected because he had the best head of hair for pete’s sake. If I had to hear one more time how the soccer moms got him elected, I thought I’d jump off a building. Also, I thought they might take the vote away from women.

    • #14
  15. Salvatore Padula Inactive
    Salvatore Padula
    @SalvatorePadula

    RightAngles: “Bill Clinton got elected because he had the best head of hair for pete’s sake.”

    So you’re saying we should nominate either Paul or Trump, right?

    • #15
  16. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Salvatore Padula:RightAngles: “Bill Clinton got elected because he had the best head of hair for pete’s sake.”

    So you’re saying we should nominate either Paul or Trump, right?

    Hahahahahaha

    • #16
  17. Real Jane Galt Coolidge
    Real Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    In the end this comes down to Bush vs Clinton with HRC becoming the first female/womyn POTUS. The political class and MSM will have it no other way.

    • #17
  18. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Real Jane Galt:In the end this comes down to Bush vs Clinton with HRC becoming the first female/womyn POTUS.The political class and MSM will have it no other way.

    • #18
  19. donald todd Inactive
    donald todd
    @donaldtodd

    Salvatore Padula:I stopped taking the article seriously when it predicted the demise of Jim Gilmore. Gilmore is the only choice for true conservatives. America needs Gilmore. Gilmania 2016!

    Great quip!  (Who is Jim Gilmore?  I’m asking that as a true conservative.)

    • #19
  20. donald todd Inactive
    donald todd
    @donaldtodd

    Salvatore Padula:Mendel: “I’ll gladly place a big wager that Trump will be a sideshow by January.”

    Are you willing to give odds? I think you’re probably right, but I think there’s a not insignificant chance of Trump going all in, even to the extent of a third party run.

    I suspect that Trump measures such things and would know that third party candidates don’t do well, coming out as distant thirds in the voting, something that would not appeal to his ego.  Should he not win the Republican nomination, he’ll look at the costs and become magnanimous, in one direction or the other, based on what he perceives is best for business.

    • #20
  21. donald todd Inactive
    donald todd
    @donaldtodd

    RightAngles:

    Guruforhire:Even when he gets all that Bush money, he still won’t be able to buy a chin.America isn’t ready for a chinless president.

    That’s what I keep tellin’ you guys! It shouldn’t matter but it does. It should matter who’s smart, but Adlai Stevenson was smart. Bill Clinton got elected because he had the best head of hair for pete’s sake. If I had to hear one more time how the soccer moms got him elected, I thought I’d jump off a building. Also, I thought they might take the vote away from women.

    I liked the last sentence but thought it a bit limited.  Having left the Democrats and their meager understanding of both human and fiscal reality, I hope that they’ll take the vote away from Democrats.

    • #21
  22. donald todd Inactive
    donald todd
    @donaldtodd

    Salvatore Padula:RightAngles: “Bill Clinton got elected because he had the best head of hair for pete’s sake.”

    So you’re saying we should nominate either Paul or Trump, right?

    Given Clinton’s moral record we should look for the baldest man (or perhaps any qualified woman) for the position. (If approaching baldness is a criteria, the Donald would seem to be out of it.)

    • #22
  23. John Hendrix Thatcher
    John Hendrix
    @JohnHendrix

    EThompson:

    Salvatore Padula:Mendel: “I’ll gladly place a big wager that Trump will be a sideshow by January.”

    Are you willing to give odds? I think you’re probably right, but I think there a not insignificant chance of Trump going all in, even to the extent of a third party run.

    Trump’s far too egotistical and savvy to go third party because that means he would lose and more importantly, he’d alienate a lot of political cronies important to his business.

    He’s going to go down to the wire to get the more prestigious trophy of the GOP nomination.

    I see it differently.

    First of all I fully agree with your assessment that Trump is both egotistical and savvy.  Trump would have to rather more functional than average to get where he is. I do not want to underestimate him. For what it is worth, I suspect that Trump must have enough self control so as to prevent his ego from causing him to make expensive mistakes.  If not, he would be where he is now.

    My working conspiracy theory is that Trump is the Clinton’s Judas goat.  We already know that multiple sources have confirmed that Bill encouraged Trump to run. The only conceivable reason for Bill to do that is so that Trump would improve Hillary’s chances.

    Regarding alienating a lot of political cronies, I suppose most of his cronies who care about politics are Democrats. If he wanted to make them appreciative then wrecking the GOP’s chances in 2016 would be the right way to go about it.

    Trump is the apex crony-capitalist in this race. I’ve wondered what potential Trump projects in NYC could be enabled or wrecked by the at the discretion of Democratic activists who also occupy roles in municipal govt decision making?  Or did the Clintons promise to pull some major strings in his behalf if he were to mess up the GOP in 2016?

    I generally do not like conspiracy theories but I suspect something like this is why Trump is running.

    • #23
  24. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    Stick with Cruz Mike!  Your endorsement, and the fact I pretty much agree with him) is the primary reason I am trying to get past whatever it is that drives me crazy about him.  I was ok with Palin before she decided to be a reality tv star but Cruz is waaaaay better than she ever hoped to be.  If he could just sound less like a humanoid that was built by conservatives……

    • #24
  25. John Hendrix Thatcher
    John Hendrix
    @JohnHendrix

    I’ve always liked Cruz the best although I have qualms about his electability and lack of executive experience.

    One of my favorite fantasies is to watch Cruz debate Hillary.    That Spectator post makes that debate seem more likely.

    • #25
  26. John Penfold Member
    John Penfold
    @IWalton

    And Carly?  She doesn’t have that hint of strangeness Cruz has and she’s the other really brilliant candidate once Jindal leaves.  I like Cruz so I’ve dismissed it as trying not to show off his total intellectual superiority.   I think Carly is ultimately the strongest candidate, especially if it’s Hillary.

    • #26
  27. John Hendrix Thatcher
    John Hendrix
    @JohnHendrix

    John Penfold:And Carly? She doesn’t have that hint of strangeness Cruz has and she’s the other really brilliant candidate once Jindal leaves. I like Cruz so I’ve dismissed it as trying not to show off his total intellectual superiority. I think Carly is ultimately the strongest candidate, especially if it’s Hillary.

    Fully agree about Carly.  She is one of the most switched-on candidates I have ever seen.

    • #27
  28. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Concretevol:Stick with Cruz Mike! Your endorsement, and the fact I pretty much agree with him) is the primary reason I am trying to get past whatever it is that drives me crazy about him. I was ok with Palin before she decided to be a reality tv star but Cruz is waaaaay better than she ever hoped to be. If he could just sound less like a humanoid that was built by conservatives……

    Have no fear, LaRoches are deeply loyal by inclination. :-)

    • #28
  29. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Mike LaRoche: Could Ted Cruz End Up as the Establishment Candidate?

    If he is, then the Establishment story will morph to describe how the Tea Party prevented him from advancing earlier.

    • #29
  30. Matthew Gilley Inactive
    Matthew Gilley
    @MatthewGilley

    Mike LaRoche:

    Concretevol:Stick with Cruz Mike! Your endorsement, and the fact I pretty much agree with him) is the primary reason I am trying to get past whatever it is that drives me crazy about him. I was ok with Palin before she decided to be a reality tv star but Cruz is waaaaay better than she ever hoped to be. If he could just sound less like a humanoid that was built by conservatives……

    Have no fear, LaRoches are deeply loyal by inclination. :-)

    That explains the Mike Leach bromance.

    • #30
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