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Ted Cruz Survives Tormenting Election

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From USA Today:

AUSTIN — Ted Cruz has ricocheted from top-tier Republican presidential candidate to reluctant surrogate for political nemesis Donald Trump. A low point came last month when a video surfaced of the Texas senator calling voters and encouraging them to go to the polls while sitting in front of a wall plastered with posters of Trump, whom he once called a “pathological liar” and “amoral.”

Though some have criticized his oscillating stances on the Republican presidential nominee, Cruz’s conservative, anti-establishment chops remain intact in the eyes of most supporters, particularly those in Texas, said Mark Jones, a Rice University political scientist.

Next up for Cruz: A senatorial re-election bid in 2018 that he should win easily, Jones said. After that, he’ll have another year or so to burnish his contrarian credentials, especially if Democrats win the presidency and the Senate majority, before making an expected second run at the White House.

Cruz campaigned for Republican senators in Colorado and Nevada, espousing many of the points he hit in his primary speeches — jobs, the Supreme Court, security — with scarcely a mention of Trump’s name

“He may be damaged at the national level, but, in terms of his short-term goals, he’s well poised to win the 2018 primary,” Jones said.

Late last month, Cruz campaigned for Republican senators in Colorado and Nevada, espousing many of the points he hit in his primary speeches — jobs, the Supreme Court, security — with scarcely a mention of Trump’s name.

The pathway here has been a complicated one for Cruz. He and Trump clashed bitterly and often during the GOP primary campaign, with Trump insulting Cruz’s wife and insinuating his father had a hand in the Kennedy assassination, and Cruz questioning Trump’s integrity and morality.

During his speech at the Republican National Convention in July, Cruz declined to directly endorse Trump, instead urging voters to “vote your conscience,” an omission that earned him jeers from the crowd and angered many Republicans.

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