Elections boil down to choices, and sometimes none of them generate much enthusiasm. Senator Jim Risch, Ted Cruz’ Republican colleague from Idaho, explains his reasons for backing Donald Trump’s biggest challenger for the GOP nomination:
Oops! Sorry, wrong video. Here is the clip that CNN highlighted yesterday as Cruz’ third Senatorial endorsement … such as it is:
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 6, 2016
The Hill picks up more of the conversation:
“Did I just endorse, Wolf?” Risch asked host Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” after talking about how he hopes Cruz will win the GOP nomination.
“I guess it depends on your definition,” he said.
“The defeat Donald Trump would face against Hillary Clinton would probably be epic and historical,” he said. “I’m not going to support him.
“Obviously, Kasich is so far behind that it’s hard for him to get the numbers. By process of elimination, that leaves you with Cruz. At this point, there’s no other option.”
Yes, it’s not exactly a scintillating moment for Team Ted, but …. they’ll take it, no doubt. Risch likely won’t become a campaign surrogate in the manner of Lindsey Graham, but he’s grudgingly conceding that the anti-establishment gadfly of the upper chamber has become arguably the best candidate left in the field. It comes down to a choice, and Risch has made his.
Allahpundit noted this last night, but it’s worth emphasizing again that this is the same process that every voter will undergo over the next few months. It’s no coincidence that about a third of supporters of every candidate left in the race say now that they won’t support anyone but their own candidate; they don’t have to make that choice now, and so they won’t.
When the choice is down to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, or Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz, voters will want to be part of that decision even if it’s to block the least acceptable candidate. Some may sit out, but it won’t be a third of voters who would otherwise engage, or even close to it. And some of those will even manage to sound a wee bit more enthusiastic than Senator Risch by that time, too.