But it fits so well.
Can Cruz cut into the Obama electorate? That would be difficult for any GOP nominee, but particularly for Cruz. He calls himself the most reliably conservative candidate in the race. And his campaign focuses especially on winning the Christian evangelical vote.
Cruz and his strategists have an answer for doubters. With effective outreach to conservatives, he can gain the votes of the four million conservative voters who supposedly stayed home in 2012.
There are problems with this strategy. Expectations of a surge of new conservative voters if only Republicans nominated a full-blown conservative candidate are not new. Republicans did just that in 1964 with Barry Goldwater as the nominee. He lost to President Johnson by 486 electoral votes to 52.
As I noted today, the Goldwater comparison is a terrible one to make. It is what the Establishment always throws out at conservatives. It was pulled repeatedly against Reagan. The reality is that Goldwater was not going to win and it had nothing to do with his conservatism, but with John Kennedy being assassinated and his veep choice being up for election as Kennedy’s replacement less than a year later.
To be sure, Barnes is not really attacking Cruz. But I do think he treads close to a lot of conventional wisdom that really is not true. He does, however, more or less note that demography is not destiny and events do change things.