HOUSTON (FOX 26) - With a bellwether beat-down of Donald Trump in the pivotal state of Wisconsin, Texas Senator Ted Cruz believes he's turned the tide in the battle for the Republican Presidential nomination.
Two of Houston's sharpest political minds fully concur.
"This was a real breakthrough night for Cruz, not only did he win Wisconsin, but he crushed Donald Trump," said Rice political analyst Mark Jones.
Republican State Senator Paul Bettencourt says the win all but denies Donald Trump the ability to capture the nomination before Republicans gather in Cleveland.
"You just can't underestimate what Wisconsin did. It's a big deal. It makes a huge difference. It means instead of we might have a contested convention, it means we are going to have a contested convention," said Bettencourt.
And in a contested convention, Cruz is far better positioned than Trump to build consensus by uniting his Tea Party base with the "anyone-but-Trump" establishment.
"Really Ted Cruz is looking like he has the best chance right now of being the Republican nominee and even greater chance perhaps than Donald Trump," said Jones.
While the billionaire mogul is likely to rebound in his home state of New York, Bettencourt believes Trump's foreign policy stumbles, abortion flip flop and cruel twitter assault on Heidi Cruz have given voters pause about his judgment.
"He put his own red flags up about how you handle candidates wives and families which they should really be off the presidential stage from the standpoint of being subject to a major attack," said Bettencourt, who supports Cruz.