STAFFORD, TX - For Ted Cruz, it all comes down to the Lone Star State, the biggest Super Tuesday prize.
Without winning the 155 delegates that comes with taking his home state, his hopes for overcoming the Trump machine are slim. Any delegates Cruz gets from any other Super Tuesday states is all gravy.
It's also a matter of pride. If the same Republican voters that elected him to the Senate in 2012 find another candidate more fit for the White House, it would be a demoralizing defeat.
He said as much after he and his wife made a stop in Houston today to vote. “Any candidate that can`t win his home state, has real problems," Cruz proclaimed to the media. Sure that`s a sideways jab at Marco Rubio who currently polls a close second to Donald Trump in Rubio`s home state of Florida. But just the same, Cruz recognizes a loss in Texas puts the future of his campaign in real jeopardy.
As high as the stakes are tonight, at the Cruz campaign watch party, the mood isn`t nervous or apprehensive, but excited and confident.
Trump was picked to be the big winner on Super Tuesday, surprising exactly no one. But if Cruz can just win Texas, then maybe he can convince voters in the remaining states that if they don`t want Trump in the Oval Office next year, their last best hope rests with him.