In the latest Quinnipiac poll, Cruz has nearly caught Trump. It’s Trump 25, Cruz 23. Cruz is asserting his dominance among Tea Partiers (he’s at 42 percent support with them) and very conservative voters (38 percent), and leads among evangelicals, although that’s closer (27 percent Cruz, 24 percent Carson). This result means that a Trump–Cruz clash could be upon us sooner rather than later. Interestingly, Trump leads among somewhat-conservatives and moderates, creating the possibility that if he loses a fight with Cruz (a big “if,” since he hasn’t lost a fight with anyone else yet), his support could bleed to a candidate besides Cruz.The Iowa caucuses can be pretty cray-cray. SO. It is conceivable that enough of 'em may put a Joe McCarthy impersonator over the top.
Someone pretty "Messed Up" usually wins or comes close to winning over republican voters there so why not Cruz? He certainly fits that bill.