Some observations in today’s New York Times by Nate Cohn about Ted Cruz’s candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination:
Political scientists argue that the single most important determinant of the outcome of the nomination is support from party elites: those operatives who can staff a winning campaign; the donors who fund it; the elected officials and interest group leaders who bestow the credibility necessary to persuade voters and affect media coverage.
The candidate with the most support from party elites doesn’t always win the nomination, but support from elites is probably a prerequisite for victory.
“A candidate without substantial party support has never won the nomination,” said John Zaller, a political-science professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and one of four authors of “The Party Decides,” an influential work on the role of parties in the nominating process.
Mr. Cruz has done nothing to endear himself to the elites. He won the party’s nomination for the Senate by defeating David Dewhurst, an establishment favorite and the sitting lieutenant governor of Texas. He led congressional Republicans to shut down the government to prevent the inevitable enactment of the Affordable Care Act.
Does that make Cruz a longshot? Uh, yes, yes it does. It doesn’t mean Cruz won’t make a lot of noise, but politics, at least at the national level, is still an establishment game.
So smirk your ass off Ted, you’ll still be the junior United States Senator from Texas when 2016 is all over.