By picking Fiorina, Cruz was making a risky bet that he could reap all the benefits of being opportunistic (an increase in support and enthusiasm) with none of the drawbacks (that people genuinely dislike opportunism, especially opportunism as transparent as Cruz’s).
But the gambit hasn’t been able to stop a downward slide in Cruz’s favorability among the Republican electorate. The Washington Post’s Philip Bump has highlighted Gallup’s tracking of candidate favorability. Since getting hammered in New York, Cruz’s numbers have cratered. Between April 16-22, 51 percent of Republican voters viewed Cruz favorably and 38 percent viewed him unfavorably. Between April 25-May 1, 40 percent of Republican voters viewed him favorably and 45 percent viewed him unfavorably.
This dip has more to do with Cruz staying in the race after being mathematically eliminated—and, possibly, the Republican electorate beginning to warm to the idea of a Trump presidency—than it has to do with his selection of Fiorina. But it does suggest that Cruz’s strategy of trying everything and seeing what sticks is failing to win over voters who increasingly see him as being responsible for the Republicans’ messy primary.
In other Cruz/Carly news, here’s Ted Cruz not helping Fiorina after she fell off the stage.