Their backgrounds are different. Lowry mentions that, unlike Nixon, Cruz attended Ivy League universities that would typically entitle him to a spot among the elite, if he wanted it. But he doesn’t, and such elites, as well as his Senate colleagues, have a “genuine personal dislike” for Cruz, even if he frames such antipathy as the typical establishment attitude toward a potential upsetter of the status quo—or, as Lowry puts it, “a lonely man of principle.”
Cruz doesn’t want or need approval from the political elite. He isn’t seeking to be well-liked among the electorate, probably because he knows he just isn’t likable. Cruz will never be Joe Biden or Marco Rubio. He doesn’t have a beaming smile or endearing anecdotes or a twinkle in his eye. But his shrewdness, calculation, and disregard for elite approval can make him a winning candidate—and, what’s more, a pretty good conservative president.