Would Cruz just be a less embarrassing loser?

We now know how big the Republican Party’s Donald Trump problem is: so big that some in the GOP have convinced themselves the solution is Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.).

Yes, the erstwhile government-shutter-downer trails Hillary Clinton by only 3.1 percentage points in the RealClearPolitics average, as opposed to Trump’s 10.8-point deficit.

But be skeptical: Those polls probably exaggerate Cruz’s electability, which may diminish further if he gets the nomination, and the general electorate focuses on his ideology, even if his opponent is the unloved Clinton.

A lackluster economy and irritation at poor government performance dominate voters’ concerns, just as Cruz says; whether Americans think Cruz’s purist brand of conservatism represents the best way to deal with them is another question entirely.