Just in: Rand Paul's New Hampshire state chairman Sen. Avard has endorsed Ted Cruz's campaign, he tells a crowd here pic.twitter.com/fOGnGlRjhi
— Teddy Schleifer (@teddyschleifer) February 8, 2016
While Cruz is not 100% in alignment with the positions of Rand Paul, now that Paul is out of the race, his supporters will find more to like in Cruz than in any of the other GOP candidates. This endorsement will not be a game changer in New Hampshire. Before he dropped out, Paul was polling at ~3%. If some significant number of those voters do show up to vote for Ted Cruz, they will improve his position:
If, as I think likely though I may very well be wearing a clown nose tomorrow night, Rubio finishes ahead of Trump, Cruz could very well slide into second on the strength of the Paul voters. Or if, as I think unlikely, Rubio was really hurt by the Saturday debate, even a smallish bloc of Paul voters could move him into second place. If this endorsement becomes indicative of a trend, it will be significant in later states as Paul polled ~5% nationwide before dropping out.
note: yes, I know that is actually Steve King in the image.