If I may summarize this National Review article: Ted lost because Everybody Hates Cruz.
“He’s got the whole establishment p**sed off at him, so they didn’t rally to him as the alternative,” says former Virginia representative Tom Davis, who has endorsed John Kasich. “They sat on the sidelines with their hands in their pockets.” That’s because, according to the GOP aide, supporting him “would establish a new model for how ambitious young senators would behave in the Republican party that’s totally intolerable for the establishment-senator types.”
At a press conference on Tuesday morning, his final day on the campaign trail, Cruz let loose on Trump, calling him a “serial philanderer” and a “pathological liar” and concluding, “Morality doesn’t exist for him.” But the Republican establishment and the party’s voters knew that, and they chose Trump over Cruz anyway.
Indiana: “Give us Barabbas!”
Even Cruz’s donors weren’t that crazy about actually spending money on him.
Though Cruz and his allies likely would’ve decided against investing significant money in New Hampshire, it’s also true that Cruz’s allied super PACs couldn’t spend much of the cash piling up in their coffers. In a bizarre scheme, Cruz donors had placed a total of $38 million into bank accounts, but the money came with all sorts of strings attached. Millions of dollars of money “raised” by the super PACs were never released by their donors, and thus could never be spent to help Cruz.
Ironically, it was the campaign’s proven fundraising ability, much of it phantom, that put Cruz on the map when much of official Washington still considered his candidacy a joke. After he raised more money in the first quarter of 2015 than any other candidate with the exception of Jeb Bush, they had no choice but to take him seriously. The vast majority of the super PAC money, though, came from three wealthy donors whose largesse was conditional. One of them, Toby Neugebauer, an American ex-pat living in Puerto Rico, ultimately spent just $1 million of the $10 million he gave to a Cruz-backing super PAC.
Staking his political fortunes on the ultra-right from the outset of his campaign turns out to not have been the best strategy, either.
As it turned out, Cruz’s triumphs, even in friendly territory, were more the exception than the rule: There simply aren’t enough very conservative voters to make a candidate the Republican nominee on their own, even in an anti-establishment year.
And talking of extremists, I hope this story is true.
Tony Perkins, the chairman of the Family Research Council, reportedly advised Cruz to replace his white shirts and red ties with pastels in order to soften his image.
Should have tried earth tones.