All the things that have made many Republicans in Washington dislike Cruz just make a certain type of GOP voter like him even more. In much the way that primary voters admire Scott Walker for standing up and taking on the unions, they admire Cruz for standing up and taking on Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.
“He should make a commercial that is a montage of people hating him — McConnell, Boehner, the surrender caucus,” says Deace. “He would close with, ‘The same people you hate, hate me. See you in February.'” For a significant part of the GOP base, Cruz has the right enemies.
In a recent Fox News poll — the one in which Cruz jumped up to third place after the debate, ahead of Jeb Bush — Cruz did better with voters under 45 years of age than any Republican candidate except Donald Trump. He’s got room to grow. No one knows how long his recent rise will last, but it appears that Cruz’s work is finally making a difference.