Cruz's cloudy outlook for 2016 presidential run

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But Cruz may also have badly damaged a potential 2016 presidential bid by infuriating party elders and many in the GOP’s donor class, with his charge that those who didn’t agree with his tactics were abandoning conservative ideology.

While Cruz energized right-wing talk radio and the GOP’s Tea Party wing, some strategists say his “with me or against me” rhetoric has so alienated deep-pocketed donors that they may turn their back on the Senate freshman if he comes courting.

“He definitely endeared himself to the grass roots, but presidential candidates need some of the big-money donors, and a lot of them are rolling their eyes,” GOP strategist Ford O’Connell said.

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