You can’t take a pounding every night from everyone from Megyn Kelly to MSNBC and not have it make some impact, even if you’re Donald Trump. Anti-Trump forces in the GOP have been able drive up the front-runner’s negatives even if they haven’t been able to beat him consistently. (Trump himself has obviously played a big role in driving up those negatives too.)
Now would seem to be the time for Republicans to start rallying around Ted Cruz. He’s earned the backing of establishment figures like Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham in addition to the conservative Club for Growth, for example.
Yet Cruz has still only been endorsed by two sitting senators. He has the backing of five incumbent governors, counting Guam. He does have significant support from conservative members of the House and other down-ballot elected officials, but if this is a rallying around Cruz it’s pretty thin gruel.
Even the endorsements Cruz does have are often prefaced with disclaimers about how important it is to stop Trump and sometimes about how terrible the Texan is. Graham said Cruz “is certainly not my top preference.”