Bigger in Texas

05.01.13

Can Ted Cruz Attract Big Money Donors?

Is Ted Cruz 2016 for real?

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images ()

Only these six men know for sure (and their heirs - one of them died last month).

Texas is home to the biggest lode of GOP donor money in the country. If Cruz can successfully woo this money, he becomes a serious presidential candidate: not necessarily a winner in the general election (see Romney, Mitt), but at least somebody who can be nominated. If he fails to secure substantial contributions from the Texas Big Donors, then he's Rick Santorum: a candidate with base appeal, but no hope for the prize.

If Cruz imagines that he can power his way to the nomination with the support of only one big donor - his supporters mention Peter Thiel - he should remember how far, i.e. how short, Sheldon Adelson's money carried Newt Gingrich in 2012. Donor consensus matters, because it denies equal or greater big money to others. 

The GOP's big-money donors do not always get their way. If they did, George W. Bush would have enacted the Rubio immigration reforms back in 2006.

But that's the way to bet.