Donald Trump’s blowout win in the Hoosier State spurred talk of third-party runs and internal revolt, though in truth the shock has not worn off enough for them to think clearly. Cruz’s unlikely Indiana denouement gave frontrunner Trump a clear path to the GOP nomination, suggesting there is no way to stop him from amassing the 1,237 delegates needed for a first-ballot nomination. […] supporters like Wright have said they will try to be elected as delegates to the national convention in Cleveland in hopes of continuing the battle in an intramural arena. Early media reports that the tea-party movement might support an independent bid for the White House was just talk, movement leaders say, but they agree there is no enthusiasm for Trump among those who paved the way for the raft of “outsiders” who have ousted longtime establishment Republicans around the country. Despite their dismay that Cruz was unable to stem Trump’s rise, they would not support any sort of “parachute candidate” offered by Republican leaders as a last-ditch alternative at the national convention, Myers said. Cruz’s strategy of using tea party support to stay in the race as other candidates fell, gaining victories where he could, especially in states that awarded more delegates through caucuses and grass-roots selection processes, was going according to plan. Trump was able to capture that share of the voting public that was voting for a person or for ‘anti’ rhetoric, rather than for policy and principles. While Cruz unquestionably was the tea party favorite among the dozen-plus GOP candidates, opinion polls showed that for voters self-identifying as tea partiers, the preference was not so clear. Trump actively courted well-known tea party activists, continuing a dalliance that started when he was considering a run for the presidency in 2012. Cruz’s beliefs may mirror those of the tea party perfectly on an ideological basis, but Trump succeeded in tapping into frustration and disappointment at a gut level.
Donald Trump notwithstanding, the utter failure of the Tea Party to gain much traction on a national scale is heartening.