While James has little realistic shot at making a late surge, Leppert's spin is not totally unreasonable. Dewhurst is the heavy favorite in the race, but he needs more than 50 percent of primary votes to avoid a runoff with the runner-up.
Cruz is considered Dewhurst's most likely runoff opponent, but Dewhurst and a super PAC supporting his campaign have spent millions of dollars attacking Cruz with TV ads -- and they won't let up before the May 29 primary. With Dewhurst and Cruz (and their outside group allies) focusing on each other, the possibility still exists that Leppert could edge past Cruz and sneak into the runoff.
Leppert would face an uphill battle in a one-on-one contest against Dewhurst. While the pro-Dewhurst forces have spent millions tearing down Cruz, they have mostly ignored Leppert, showing that they would much rather face the former mayor in a runoff than Cruz and his passionate grassroots supporters.