Cruz campaign may have been finished without Texas primary win, strategist says

"You might say it's a duh. But it's not a duh," chief Cruz strategist Jason Johnson said of the senator's potential departure from the race, had he lost Texas on Tuesday.
By Doug G. Ware  |  March 2, 2016 at 8:06 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 2 (UPI) -- If Texas Sen. Ted Cruz hadn't won his home state's primary on Tuesday, his presidential campaign would now most likely be over, his chief strategist told supporters Wednesday.

During a 30-minute talk with donors, Cruz planner Jason Johnson said the senator would have felt comfortable dropping out of the GOP race without a Texas win, CNN reported.

Including Texas, Cruz won three states on Super Tuesday -- Oklahoma and Alaska being the other two. He won in Texas with 43.8 percent of the vote, but lost seven other primary elections to front-runner Donald Trump and one to Marco Rubio.

In fact, Cruz's Texas win was the slimmest home state victory in Republican primary history, dating back to 1912, an analysis concluded.

"Last night, when we were going through the different scenarios on what might occur, the senator asked what if we lose Texas," Johnson said. "And I said that's simple: You don't have to do it on the stage, but you clearly stand there and remind people that 'tonight is not a reflection of the ideas, the issues, the vision."

"But clearly, we now have to pull back and pray and think about who we throw our support behind in order to reignite the promise of America," he continued. "There was zero pushback from Ted Cruz. You might say it's a duh. But it's not a duh."

Trump won seven states on Super Tuesday -- including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia -- and Rubio won in Minnesota.

Cruz is still in the Republican race but trails Trump by more than 100 delegates.

"If the field remains divided, Donald Trump will be the nominee," Cruz told supporters Tuesday evening. "For the candidates who have not yet won a state, who have not racked up significant delegates, I ask you to prayerfully consider coming together, uniting."

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