A Cruz win would not only be a major rebuke of the well-known (and VERY well financed) Dewhurst, but it would also arguably be the most significant statewide upset of the 2012 cycle to date. (Yes, we’re talking about the same cycle in which a sitting senator was dislodged in Indiana and a little-known state legislator won the GOP Senate nomination in Nebraska.)
There are three key reasons for this.
For starters, Dewhurst didn’t implode. He raised heaps of money and added millions from his own checkbook. He began with a huge name identification advantage, was backed by Gov. Rick Perry, and enlisted the help of David Carney, one of the sharpest political minds in Texas. And he was the beneficiary of a super PAC headed by Rob Johnson, another top Texas GOP hand.
A Cruz victory would suggest that Republican voters aren’t just rejecting inadequately conservative candidates and longtime incumbents. The sufficiently conservative who are tied the establishment — a word becoming more and more toxic in politics — are also at risk.