Ted Cruz's Liabilities in the General Election

What plays well in IA might not work nationally. This concern is the subject of a Houston Chronicle article out over the weekend. Cruz’s endorsers, including Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, have appeal to the far right side of the GOP but have taken controversial positions which will likely alienate independents and moderates. Recently, stridently anti-gay voices Matt Barber and Linda Harvey have endorsed Cruz. Phil Robertson has had his own problems with controversial statements about gays and blacks under Jim Crow laws.
Along with David Barton (quoted in this article), Cruz seems to be persuaded by a notion that there are millions of far right, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, socially conservative dominionist voters who will lift him to victory, if only they can be mobilized to vote. Such a wish might be true in Iowa and perhaps South Carolina. However, I can’t help but believe there is a ceiling for this appeal much lower than needed for a Cruz win against anybody in the general election.
With all of these endorsements, including people on his campaign staff (see the Houston Chronicle for more on that), Cruz will likely be on the defensive. Given his South Carolina staff, he may have to answer about his views on the Confederate flag. He will either agree with his staff’s support for the flag or be forced to explain why he didn’t fire them over their support for the flag. He will have to address questions of criminalizing homosexuals, the Bible’s status versus the Constitution and whether or not America should favor Christianity in legislation and public policy.
If he backs away from his controversial endorsers or waffles on the positions they care about, he risks losing them. If he sticks to those guns, he risks a big loss in November.
Will the GOP back away from Cruz (and equally as problematic option Trump)? I still think it is likely, although I think we may have to go longer into the primary season to see which of those now in the back of the pack catch on.