It was several minutes into his speech that the convention floor delegates began to get restless.
Then that restlessness turned to outright hostility as Ted Cruz, who in total only mentioned Donald Trump’s name once at the very beginning of his lengthy appearance, refused to endorse the GOP candidate for president.
In the end, he was literally booed off the stage as Trump, who by then realized no endorsement was coming, walked into the arena prior to Cruz finishing, effectively upstaging the Texas senator who then made a hasty retreat backstage. Here is video of the senator’s less-than-finest moment:
Some are already suggesting the senator might very well pay a very heavy political price back in Texas come re-election time.
For weeks, Team Cruz did not wish to recognize the increasingly daunting numbers that were stacking up against them. The candidate himself was said to have refused to allow discussions of quitting until just the last few days prior to the Indiana primary this past Tuesday.
And it was Indiana that delivered the final kick to the gut of the Texas senator’s hopes for the White House. The numbers could no longer be ignored, and those numbers made it abundantly clear the voters were not aligning with Ted Cruz and it was only going to get worse after Indiana.
Trump’s Indiana win gave the New York billionaire seven decisive primary victories in a row. He has also won 86% of all state primary battles, a remarkable number.
Perhaps even more important, in a field that once contained multiple GOP candidates, Donald Trump has amassed nearly 60% of ALL primary votes cast.
Trump’s momentum was undeniable, and in politics, momentum is king.
And so with the deep pocket donors who had kept his campaign afloat for the last few months indicating they were withdrawing their support, Ted Cruz could no longer ignore the political reality forming all around him. He and his affiliated Super PACS had spent some 400% more in Indiana than Donald Trump – and still lost by over 20 points.
Mr. Cruz is not entirely removing himself from the GOP primary battle, though. He has over five hundred delegates who he likely intends to use as leverage to grant him significant influence in the upcoming convention that will no doubt include a nationally televised speech.
The only question that remains then is how supportive of Donald Trump will that speech be. There is but a handful of weeks that yet remain for time to heal some very deep wounds that developed between Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz. Trump already appears ready to shake hands and move on. Such a thing comes much easier for the winner. Ted Cruz’s willingness to do so will likely take much longer.
And the pressure is coming in part via influential figures from the senator’s home state of Texas.
Here is quote today from an Austin-based newspaper regarding the ongoing presidential campaign of Senator Ted Cruz. The article was titled: Indiana Last Stand for Cruz
“If Trump wins by five points or more I think you’re going to see a lot of pressure on Cruz to drop out,” said GOP consultant, Matt Mackowiak.
A quote like that from one of the more influential Texas-based political consultants is a direct shot across the bow of the Cruz campaign. In political-speak, its a marker, a somewhat kinder and gentler way of letting a candidate know they would do well to step aside or risk alienating the very people who put them in power in the first place.
The question now is if Ted Cruz is willing to listen, or, despite dwindling resources and no viable path to victory, persist in utilizing his remaining campaign to act as a foil against the Trump nomination.
Regardless, the above quote is direct confirmation of an earlier D.C. Whispers report on the now developing scenario:
Early yesterday, D.C. Whispers shared information pertaining to on-the-ground reports of a collapsing Ted Cruz primary campaign in Indiana. That report now appears confirmed by a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll that has Donald Trump surging to a 15-point lead over the Texas senator as that state’s primary election is just 48 hours away.
Here is how D.C. Whispers outlines the situation for both candidates in Indiana via a report out yesterday:
The Fiorina bump appears to be more akin to a disinterested shrug among Indiana voters as both Cruz and Fiorina travel the state to speak to diminishing crowds.
Meanwhile in the land of the Trump campaign, rally stops are large-scale events that number in the thousands and the enthusiasm gap among voters between Trump and Cruz has turned into an ever-widening chasm.
And here is the news regarding the latest polling via the Wall Street Journal:
Donald Trump holds a 15-point lead in the Republican presidential primary in Indiana, and a majority of GOP voters disapprove of the effort by underdogs Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich to coordinate a strategy to block him, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist Poll finds.
The new poll also has Trump at 49% of total support in the Hoosier state, giving him the opportunity to once again break the 50% barrier political pundits just a few weeks earlier were saying he could never do. Trump has since broken 50% in the last four out of five primary elections.
Momentum appears to be currently favoring Team Trump and has him poised to secure the majority of delegates needed to lock up the GOP nomination.