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05.01.13

Ted Cruz, the Next Barry Goldwater?

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National Review's Robert Costa has some terrifying news for moderate Republicans: Texas Senator Ted Cruz is flirting with a 2016 presidential run.

Wary of potential candidates like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican so squishy he might be able to win 270 electoral votes, hardliners are falling behind the Senate's most abrasive new member.

Enter Cruz. His supporters argue that he’d be a Barry Goldwater type — a nominee who would rattle the Republican establishment and reconnect the party with its base – but with better electoral results.

Electoral math here: the Republican base is shrinking. We can "reconnect" with it all we'd like, but running a polarizing candidate like Cruz, who would certainly increase the turnout from hard right conservatives, means being willing to sacrifice a significant number of independent and moderate voters.

That's not a bet responsible Republicans should be willing to take if we have any intention of restoring our party to the White House in the near future.

(And speaking of the soft bigotry of low expectations, it's almost impossible not to have better electoral results than Barry Goldwater:)