Ted Cruz has little reason to be concerned about 2018 senate race

Jonathon Bernstein:
Republicans are talking about support for a primary challenge to Ted Cruz when he runs for re-election in 2018. I suspect the Texas senator is not shaking in his boots.

Why not? After all, Republican party actors remain sharply split over him. A small number of movement conservatives consider him a hero, and his presidential run drew considerable support from Republican state legislators and from some party-aligned interest groups. But most everybody else -- especially those who have worked with him in Washington -- still appear vehemently opposed to him.

Some Republicans may really believe Cruz's defiant "vote your conscience" stance at the convention in Cleveland will matter to Texas voters almost two years from now, and enough so to make them vote against him. Mostly, the Republicans are just using his speech, which they saw as grandstanding, as an excuse to organize against him.

Recall that in the weeks leading up to the Iowa caucuses -- when Cruz and Trump were running even in the polls -- a number of high-profile Republicans suddenly softened on Trump, and in several cases even said they preferred him to the Texas senator.

Many Republican National Committee members might have been terrified that Cruz would wind up as the presidential candidate if the Dump Trumpers had succeeded in freeing the delegates at the convention.

But now we're not talking about national politics. We're talking about Texas. The Cruz faction is much larger than the opposing GOP forces in the state. In 2012, Cruz, a political novice, defeated the heavily favored Republican lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst, by outflanking him on the right. And Cruz easily defeated Trump in the Texas presidential primary.

The common thread in Texas is that the candidate accepted as the most conservative wins. In 2010, Rick Perry, who though he was governor never had strong approval numbers, easily clobbered the more mainstream conservative Kay Bailey Hutchison when the veteran senator challenged him in the primary.

It's possible Trump will try to take vengeance on those he perceives to have undermined him, but it seems unlikely a candidate who barely has the ability to run ads for his own presidential effort will do so for a Cruz challenger two years from now.
There is also the fact  that many other elected officials are also not endorsing Trump for President.  There have been some rumblings that Congressman Mike McCaul is being encouraged to run against Cruz.  But it would not be the first time Cruz has defeated a largely self-funded somewhat conserative Rpublican.

McCaul is the Congressman from my District and he has moved up the ladder in House leadership positions and would probably be better served to stay in the House.

I do not support Trump and would not have supported him if Cruz endorsed him.  I thought Cruz's position was actually pretty smart, and that Trump is the one who blew it by attacking Cruz, when he could have easily said, that he was confident that when people voted their conscience they would support him.  But that is not Trump's political instinct.  His first reaction is to  attack and that is what makes him such a dubious choice to be the nominee.


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