There was a time, not so long ago, when Republican insiders believed there were really two races for their party's nomination. There were the establishment candidates (Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and John Kasich) and then there were the outsiders (Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson).
The hope was that after an establishment candidate emerged, the party could get behind him and crush the outsiders. But with a week to go, that isn't going to happen before the Iowa caucuses. The January polls for Iowa show Trump has 27.9 percent, Cruz 26.4 and then a steep drop off to Rubio who comes in at 11 percent. The national average is about the same: Trump at 34.8, Cruz at 18.8 and Rubio at 11.6.
So if it's between Cruz and Trump, who will the Republican establishment support? On the surface this seems obvious. Would Republicans really support a New York plutocrat who invited Hillary Clinton to his wedding over a Texas Republican who shut down the government to repeal the health care act?
And yet many in the establishment are so opposed to Cruz that they say they could tolerate Trump.