Santorum endorses Cruz as new poll shows Dewhurst with strong lead

"What we are missing in the United States Senate is not just a good conservative vote, but the skills and leadership to articulate the conservative message, really engage the debate on the floor of the Senate beyond just taxes and spending," he said in a statement. "Ted Cruz is a tremendous orator and principled conservative who understands these issues at his core."

"I am excited to endorse his candidacy for United States Senate," Santorum continued, "and I look forward to working with his campaign in the weeks and months to come."

ADVERTISEMENT
But Cruz might not have months, or even weeks — if he can't hold Dewhurst below 50 percent, there will be no runoff election. The new poll, conducted by the Democratically affiliated Public Policy Polling, has Dewhurst leading with 46 percent support, Cruz at 29 percent and former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert (R) at percent. In a hypothetical head-to-head, Dewhurst would start off with a 59 to 34 percent edge over Cruz.

A number of top conservatives and conservative groups are backing Cruz, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the deep-pocketed Club for Growth and FreedomWorks. Dewhurst has the support of Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) as well as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R).