Cruz lost

Cruz had his worst debate at a time when polls suggest he’s fallen well behind Trump in Iowa. Unless organizing can make up the shortfall, he needs to make something happen in the few days left. But instead of commanding the stage and hammering the absent front-runner, Cruz turned in a sloppy performance consisting of flat jokes, whining to the moderators, whining to the moderators as a set up for flat jokes, and taking substantive poundings from his rivals—and from Fox News itself…

For some reason that we won’t question, because it was glorious, Fox News decided to spend a segment near the middle of the debate nuking only Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz with clips from their past on immigration. Rubio sweated plenty when his shifting positions over the years on “amnesty” were examined. Then it was Cruz’s turn to go under the knife. Fox went after Cruz’s shifting history on whether he supported offering legal status—the lesser “amnesty” behind offering citizenship, but an “amnesty” damning enough by this primary cycle’s standards—during the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform debate. Cruz denies he ever did, that he was merely engaging in clever parliamentary attacks, but the tape showed another story. It muddied the waters on immigration more efficiently than Rubio’s intensive efforts to muddy the waters late last year did.

Cruz’s fellow senators piled on with some pent-up frustration.