ELIANA JOHNSON: Why Ted Cruz Thinks He Can Win A General Election.

Since his election to the Senate in 2012, Cruz has argued that center-right candidates such as John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 demoralized conservatives and kept them away from the polls; run a right-winger who can energize them, he promises, and the resulting outpouring of enthusiasm will carry Republicans to victory. Cruz and his team have talked endlessly about the power of these missing conservative voters, and their theory remains the subject of considerable skepticism in the political class. And yet, Cruz heads the most data-driven campaign in the GOP race, employing cutting-edge technology to profile, target, and turn out supporters. Statistical awareness permeates the culture of the operation from the candidate to his most junior aides. And Cruz’s top advisers, speaking strictly on background, say the Texas senator’s controversial claims about the untapped conservative masses — along with many other calculations and assumptions the campaign is making about the upcoming election — are far from conjecture.

Well, Cruz is a smart guy, but who knows? Mitt Romney’s a smart guy too, and his strategy didn’t work out.