The former chief strategist for Bush-Cheney '04 and now ABC's political analyst Matthew Dowd, had some very harsh and realistic words for Ted Cruz and his primary chances on ABC"s THIS WEEK earlier today. Looking at the Indiana polling and what's happened before, Dowd says the Cruz campaign is toast.
RADDATZ: So, does Cruz really have a shot at stopping Trump?
MATTHEW DOWD, ABC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: No. I mean, the bottom line he doesn't. And Cruz ought to take -- Senator Cruz ought to take his own advice, which he gave to John Kasich a month ago that says when you're mathematically eliminated, it's time to get out of the race.
Ted Cruz is mathematically eliminated -- even if Ted Cruz was to somehow surprise and take Indiana, he can't win this nomination at this point. The numbers aren't there. And you can just feel it, I think, in watching Ted Cruz in watching his folks that they understand that, that they understand this has slipped away. And maybe it's time to fold his tent.---
I believe it's up to the candidate to drop out of a race, but Dowd's calculations aren't wrong.
Ted Cruz has made the argument for many many months now that Trump has received tons of free airtime from the MSM, because of some liberal plot. He said the same thing on Meet The Press with Chuck Todd today.
SEN. TED CRUZ: Chuck, I recognize-- I-- I recognize that-- that many in the media would love for me to surrender to Donald Trump.
CHUCK TODD: It's not about the media--
However, Dowd's next take destroys that argument entirely. It's a really interesting opinion and one that I haven't heard mentioned in the political world so far.
Since Sen. Cruz won the Wisconsin primary, which was seen as a pivotal moment in the campaign, he's received a lot of extra media exposure and Republican voters began rejecting him even more now than they had before. That's a serious indictment on his chances.
DOWD: I think that what's happened now, and has happened post Wisconsin, interestingly enough when Ted Cruz got more media play than he'd ever had in the whole campaign, Ted Cruz now is disliked by more Republican voters than he is liked by them. Donald Trump has a 20 point favorability advantage over Ted Cruz among Republican voters now. And Ted Cruz has lost seven or eight points since his Wisconsin win, since he got all this media play.↓ Story continues below ↓
So, the problem isn't, yes, is Donald Trump vulnerable? And yes would somebody like an option?
The problem is that the option isn't anymore Ted Cruz. And without Ted Cruz being the option, Donald Trump's going to win this thing.
Likeability has always been a major obstacle for Ted Cruz' candidacy and we're seeing it play out with the GOP electorate so far.