Trump prospects driving support for Ted Cruz
...They all seem pretty clear-headed in their assessment of the Trump effect. They are also left with little other choice at this point because the traditional establishment candidates could not win elections in the current atmosphere because the Republicans in Congress were seen as betraying the votes.
Rick Wilson, a strategist who worked for Marco Rubio's campaign, said a year ago he would have laughed at any suggestion that Mr Cruz would be hailed saviour of the party.
“But you know what, when you get bitten by a wild animal you have to get a tetanus shot. You may not like that shot but you have to take it,” he said. “Cruz will be divisive and difficult to elect, but Trump will destroy the Republican party for ever.”
That is the choice with which Republicans are grappling.
Party insiders have spent weeks trying to rally support for Mr Cruz. But they have struggled to convince donors – particularly from the establishment wing – to swallow his hardline positions and awkward style.
He has a reputation as a troublemaker in the Senate, where he has won few friends even among his own party.
His stock has risen during the past week, however, following a convincing win over the front-runner in the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday.
Ever since, Republican donors have been meeting in fusty clubs in Manhattan or in Florida mansions to see whether they can learn to love the 45-year-old senator from Texas.
One such event was held at the Knickerbocker Club on New York's East Side last week, the traditional home of the city's patrician class.
John Catsimidis, an investor and grocery store owner who attended the event, told The New York Times: “Lots of people are giving him a second look. People are scared of Donald Trump, that’s why.”