The GOPe is not supporting Ted Cruz because they like him but rather because they believe Trump will be a disaster for the rest of the slate. They believe that they will be routed out of the congress and senate if Trump is the nominee. I’ve looked at all the paths and Trump is the only way you can save the down ticket.
THE ESTABLISHMENT PLAN
Before we can proceed we have to understand the GOPe and its strategy. The GOPe is not interested in realignment. It is perfectly happy having an interventionist foreign policy and a globalist trickle down economic one. In fact the only thing they really differ on with the democrats is social policy. As the great Marco Rubio put it , let me dispel the notion that the GOPe does not know what it is doing, social policy is the only one that does not have an impact on the bottom line of the donors of both parties. After all you can marry all the homosexuals you like or perform all the abortions you want it will still not cure income inequality or bring prosperity to the people. The donors must always come first and social issues make a good distractions for economic ones. We can see the GOPe is just interested in the status quo.
The idea is simple contested convention. The fear is that Donald Trump would motivate people on the democratic side to vote so they would automatically vote democrat down ticket as well. The kicker here is that Ted Cruz would not do any better in this regard. The democrats hate him for shutting down the government and fear that he would impose some sort of theocracy so they would still go out and vote against him.
The GOPe is very smart and they have access to all the data. They know that historically republicans do well when there is a lower turn out so that is what they will engineer. In the convention it will not be Ted Cruz, but rather another contender which will pick up the nomination. In a year where people are tired of money in politics and the establishment they will nominate one of the most establishment figure that they can get. This sets up a competition between two corporate shills, Clinton and whoever the GOPe nominates, which will depress voter turnout. After all how can somebody who specifically do not want an insider vote for one of these two.
Will the nominee be Paul Ryan? No. Definitely not. Paul Ryan has value as a future presidential contender and must be preserved. The GOPe has already conceded the presidential election so they will send in someone who has no political future to fall on the sword. Rubio is the first choice. He got blown out of his own home state and his Nevada firewall. Jeb Bush is a second. He got blown out of South Carolina after Trump took on the Bush clan and never even made it to his home state. Kasich by virtue of his age and still being in the race at this point is a third. Any of the three would make a perfectly fine establishment candidate to turn off the voters.
The people voting for Ted Cruz are those who define themselves as deeply or strongly conservative. They have deep ties within the party and in most cases have been part of its grass-roots organization for a while. They are typically heavily invested emotionally in the Republican party and it forms part of their identity. They still buy the myth of the trickle down economy, feel strongly about limiting abortion and gay marriage, and would like for the US to intervene in foreign wars. In short they agree with the Republican Party as it currently stands they just feel like the leadership has been bought out that is why they are not as effective as they should be.
Will they vote for Trump in the general? It is possible they will not. They may right in Ted Cruz or Micky Mouse or even just leave it blank. That is not the issue here though. No matter how they feel about Trump they are still invested in the Republican party and would vote for the senatorial and congressional candidates. The profile of the Ted Cruz voter tends to be very active politically and would vote in every election.
The people voting for Trump are generally described as moderate republicans. They dont mind compromising on gay marriage and abortion realizing that these social issues do not really have a big impact in their daily life. They are joined by independents, some democrats, and first time voters who have never participated in the process before. They tend to be more nationalistic believing that we should put America First in al things. They would view illegal immigration very unfavorably and see that a lot of their jobs have been shipped out by the elite for corporate profit.
Will they vote for Cruz in the general? It is possible they will not. They already see him as a corporate sell out but that is not the real issue. The GOPe has already given up the presidency in any case. The real issue here is that Trump supporters and Bernie supporters as well feel the system is rigged against them and are angry about it. The Trumpian faction is the most likely group of people to go to the polls and vote straight Democrat as a form of revenge against the GOPe. After all they see that the only concern of the establishment is to keep their jobs and majorities. What better way to lash out after being denied? Remember a lot of them are first time voters or do not see any difference with both parties regarding economic issues. They don’t have the strong attachment to the Republican party that the more deeply conservative people do.
As you can see the brilliant plan of the GOPe will backfire spectacularly. They depress voter turnout and motivate a significant portion of their own electorate to cast a revenge vote for the other party. That spells disaster. Denying Trump may very well lead to the GOP losing both the house and the congress. Having Trump as your nominee would motivate some people to vote on the democratic side yes, but you would have your party behind you as well as any crossover Trump can draw. Like I showed earlier the entire GOP may not vote for Trump but they will vote for its downticket. The best course of action for the GOP is to stop all this infighting and back Trump in his presidential bid with its full might.