I will start out saying that I don’t like Ted Cruz. I think he’s a sleaze ball and nothing in this campaign has changed my mind. The campaign he’s run has strengthened that opinion: the bogus letter sent out in Iowa and the rumor that Dr. Ben Carson was leaving the race, bogus Facebook pages, Photoshopped images of other candidates. None of this behavior makes me like him any better.
In South Carolina the senator has been reviled by Republicans who almost seem to welcome a win by Trump to be rid of Cruz. The state is heavily weighted with evangelical voters and if Cruz can’t beat the Donald there… well, it doesn’t look good. South Carolina has 21 Congressional Districts, each of which are given 3 delegates and a load of Super Delegates — I believe the number is 99, so assuming a massive victory by Cruz he could walk away from South Carolina with 120 delegates, who by South Carolina law, would be obliged to vote for him on the first ballot.
Now back to reality. Cruz needs South Carolina a whole lot more than South Carolina needs Cruz. Realistically, he needs to sweep the South—sweep it away from all of his opposition and hold onto those delegates, very tightly.
The Rubio campaign has been tearing at the fabric of the Cruz campaign for some time now. So much so that I am forced to wonder why they don’t focus their efforts on Trump. Cruz is a minor candidate at this point. He can — I think — be maneuvered out of the running by some clever strategic moves. Trump is another story.
The attacks from the Cruz campaign feature mostly an obviously Photoshopped photo of Rubio and President Obama looking pretty doggone friendly and the manufacture of a page on Facebook that indicates Cruz has picked up several of Rubio’s supporters. Not surprisingly the Cruz campaign is denying any participation in any of these activities. The rumor about Carson was “a misunderstanding triggered by a misleading CNN story” and the Facebook page appeared without any effort on the part of the Cruz campaign staff. In fairness, the Facebook page explanation may be valid, but given Cruz’s difficulty with telling the truth, I rather doubt it.