Who's Sorry Now? As Donald Trump Self-Destructs, Ted Cruz Is Probably One Of The Few Republicans Smiling Right Now

08/14/2016 04:05 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

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Ted Cruz must be a happy camper these days. With Donald Trump spiraling into an epic meltdown not seen since Britney Spears shaved her head, he is among only a handful of Republican leaders who stoically refused to endorse Trump from the onset. As such, he is poised to emerge with incredible political capital and a national reputation as the only major Republican who refused categorically to be "a servile puppy" to Donald Trump. Even more importantly, unlike the Bush clan, Cruz was the only Republican who showed up at the Republican National Convention and told it to Trump's face. He told the audiences to "vote your conscience," which promptly got him booed off the stage.

Although the Trump organization had been given copies of Cruz's speech hours before he spoke, Cruz's refusal to "say his name" immediately elicited angry cries of "traitor" from fellow Republicans like Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani, the former who had "turned over his political testicles long ago," according to Cruz's former campaign manager, Jeff Roe. Cruz's popularity plummeted among Republicans in the days following his speech and pundits wrote his eulogy.

But things have changed.

Immediately following the Democratic National Convention, Donald Trump began to unravel in a series of stunningly bizarre and self-destructive rants that included insulting the family of a soldier killed in action. Republicans have begun to come out en masse to denounce his actions and say they might even vote for Hillary Clinton. These included Senator Susan Collins, 50 security experts who signed a letter calling Trump unfit to be President, and other lawmakers and business leaders. Congressman Mike Coffman even ran an ad saying, "Honestly, I don't care for him much."

Hillary Clinton has now open up a double digit lead over Trump, according to some surveys. Director of NATOSource Jorge Benitez called him, "The most dangerous man in the world." Donald Trump's mental health is even becoming an issue. House Speaker Paul Ryan, despite Trump's initial refusal to endorse him, easily won his primary race against Paul Nehlen, a "Donald Trump-inspired opponent."

Today, the growing consensus is that Trump is poised to lose the election. The New York Daily News took it further and called for Trump to end his campaign now, "in a reckoning with his own madness." The sentiment seems to be supported by the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, which finds that nearly 1 in 5 Republicans want Trump to drop out.

Cruz has been quiet, these days, watching the show. Only recently, the world was calling his speech at the Republican National Convention political suicide. Might they soon be calling it his golden ticket to the White House?