But because insiders and outsiders alike see him as less of an outsider than Trump, those seeking a true outsider prefer Trump while those on the inside support Cruz with half-measures, at best. As things stand, Cruz-plus-solid-backing might still eke out a narrow win a two-man race; Trump will win anything else.
The Republican elite has decided instead to throw a Hail Mary pass, hoping to arrive at the convention with the outsider Trump and the near-outsider Cruz each boasting about 1,000 (but fewer than 1,237) delegates, yet leave with an elitist, insider, "compromise" nominee. How such a candidate—imposed against the demonstrated preferences of a sizable majority of primary voters—could win a general election remains something of a mystery.
History is not on the side of this plan. The 1968 Democratic convention was the last to impose such a compromise candidate. The party united behind the respected, admired, likable mainstream Hubert Humphrey—who lost badly to the unloved, distrusted, twice-rejected standard-bearer of an ideologically divided Republican Party, Richard Nixon. The parallels are almost eerie.