The Cost of Ted Cruz’s Rebellion

Those in the political world with nothing better to do Friday night were transfixed on C-SPAN or Twitter, following along with Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) speech in Des Moines to the Republican Party of Iowa. Among those were members of the hard-to-define “Republican Establishment.” …

To the establishment, Cruz is the embodiment of all the forces conspiring to threaten the GOP’s long-term viability. And, on a personal level, they also just can’t stand Cruz: He drives them crazy. …

Not pleasing the establishment is music to the ears of Tea Party activists, and if anything the shutdown has endeared Cruz even more to them. Assuming Cruz mounts a presidential bid in 2016 — he’s headed to South Carolina next week after his Iowa appearance last Friday (hint, hint) — the Tea Party could be a potent base.

But it’s important to remember that in presidential nomination contests, the elites — elected officials and party leaders — are historically more important than the grassroots. CONT.

Kyle Kondik, Sabato’s Crystal Ball