He’s also asking, but not in the context of this op-ed, why Cruz isn’t catching fire with conservatives.
John, you’re not going to like the answer.
Ted Cruz has caught fire with lamestream conservatives, that is, lamer cons for whom “conservatism” is purely an ideological cult pursuit. The problem? There aren’t enough of them anymore to win a Republican Presidential nomination, much less a general election. Cruz has 6.8 million votes at the time of this writing, so it’s enough to be competitive in a Republican Presidential primary and caucus season, and win a fair number of states, especially caucus states in certain parts of the country. But that’s not quite enough to punch all the way to the top.
Also what Trump has shown is that a lot of the people who called themselves or thought of themselves as conservatives weren’t really ideological creatures. Hearkening back to the David French piece in NR back in January, many “conservatives” just wanted something to bare fangs against the kook left. Also, a lot of “conservatives” mislabeled themselves; they were all along populists and nationalists, and they’re taking the new lane that Trump has graded and paved.
To net this all out, Cruz hasn’t caught fire with all conservatives because not all conservatives were truly conservative, as we have found out.