By Katie Glueck (Politico) –
He has more cash than any other Republican candidate. He is organized in every county in the first four voting states. And he has served up one strong debate performance after another.
Now, not three months from primary season, rivals concede they have begun to fear Ted Cruz has an increasingly clear path to the Republican nomination.
“Anybody who thinks differently,” said an operative with a rival 2016 campaign, “is lying to you.”
The 2016 field’s reluctantly bullish outlook on Cruz marks a dramatic about-face for Republicans weighing the divisive senator’s odds. For months, Cruz was considered a long shot at best — a hard-line conservative with a niche audience of angry evangelicals, mired in the middle of the polls and, anyway, overshadowed by Donald Trump. Allies of and operatives on campaigns as varied as Jeb Bush’s and Mike Huckabee’s dismissed the Texas senator’s ability to court enough supporters to defeat a more mainstream Republican.
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