HOUSTON (FOX 26) - In exactly one week a record number of Texans will participate in the state's Republican primary and they are fueled by unprecedented outrage.
"I haven't seen this level of frustration and anger in over 30 years. People are just absolutely ready to throw the bums out," said State Senator Paul Bettencourt.
That anger is expected to draw tens of thousands of Texas voters who have never cast a ballot in a Republican Primary before - one in four, according to one reliable estimate.
Many will be drawn by a Donald Trump's promise of a radical shakeup.
"Trump is a visceral expression of the anger that many Republican primary voters and other Americans have with everything, be it the Congress, the President, political parties, unions. He's the expression of it," said Mark Jones, political analyst at Rice University.
But in delegate rich Texas, Trump is trailing Senator Ted Cruz who must carry his home state next Tuesday or face the collapse of his presidential run.
"You can't afford to lose it, because if you lose your home state you are effectively going to be written off by the rest of the country," said Bettencourt.
Even if Cruz wins Texas with less than 50 percent of the vote, Professor Jones believes that less than optimal outcome is problematic and would likely be reflected in other southern Super Tuesday states where the Senator had hoped to finish well.
What appears clear is that voters have thus far rewarded the professed "outsider" most willing to wreak havoc in Washington and on that front, at least for the moment, Cruz is getting outflanked by the reality TV star.
"Who would ever have thought that Ted Cruz would be losing votes because too many people see him as an insider?" said Jones.