This is an important article with a lot of dirt about what is going on behind the scenes: Conservative Leaders Hedge on Support for Cruz. The upshot: If Ted Cruz doesn’t do well on March 1, particularly in Texas, many of his backers may mutiny. This because Cruz has placed all his bets on March 1, and the map changes to less favorable terrain for him after that. A weak second place finish or a strong 3rd place finish on March 1 would demonstrate that Cruz doesn’t have the support he needs to win the nomination, and will likely never get this support. If he stays in the race much longer after that, then, all he will be doing is drawing support from Marco Rubio, and ensuring that Donald Trump is the nominee.
While I am certainly in the Rubio camp, I would be wiling to support Cruz if he were the nominee. The important point is not whether it is Rubio or Cruz that wins, but that Trump needs to lose. After Rubio’s poor showing in New Hampshire, I suggested that he might seriously consider dropping out, even though I am a supporter. Now, I’m suggesting that Cruz take a cold, calculating look at his own internal numbers right now, because frankly things don’t look good for him. According to Cruz’s own strategy, he should have done much better in South Carolina and Nevada, especially among evangelicals. And current polling suggests that Trump may in fact run the table on March 1. Indeed, while Cruz still leads the polls in Texas, Rubio and Trump are close on his heels. Meanwhile, Rubio is fairly on pace with his own campaign’s expectations. While naturally they would have preferred to have done better by now, the states that promise big rewards for Rubio are all further down the line. Cruz has to win and win now, or drop out of the race.
On the other hand, if the shoe is on the other foot and Rubio performs below his campaign’s expectations in early March, he has to drop out. One way or the other, either Rubio or Cruz has to drop out by March 16 or else it could well be that Trump is unstoppable.
And I pray to God that by then it won’t be too late.