Now playing
01:01
Ted Cruz: I'm the only one who can beat Donald Trump
Twitter / @smashracismdc
Now playing
01:50
Cruz swarmed by protesters at DC restaurant
ted cruz beto o'rourke split
Pool
ted cruz beto o'rourke split
Now playing
02:55
Ted Cruz, Beto O'Rourke spar in first debate
Senator Ted Cruz at a debate in Dallas, Texas.
Pool
Senator Ted Cruz at a debate in Dallas, Texas.
Now playing
01:20
Ted Cruz: Americans are 'Dreamers' also
BOONE, IA - JANUARY 4:   Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) visits King's Christian Bookstore on January 4, 2016 in Boone, Iowa. Cruz began a six-day bus tour of Iowa ahead of the state's February 1, caucuses.  (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
BOONE, IA - JANUARY 4: Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) visits King's Christian Bookstore on January 4, 2016 in Boone, Iowa. Cruz began a six-day bus tour of Iowa ahead of the state's February 1, caucuses. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:06
Ted Cruz speechless for 18 seconds after question
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 10, 2018, about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 10, 2018, about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Now playing
02:22
Cruz presses Zuckerberg on Facebook politics
Cuomo Cruz Split
Cuomo Cruz Split
Now playing
02:49
Cuomo presses Ted Cruz on his name change
ted cruz cpac gun sot _00000000.jpg
ted cruz cpac gun sot _00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:00
Ted Cruz: We should target criminals
ted cruz comments on 2013 shut down sot  _00001621.jpg
CNN
ted cruz comments on 2013 shut down sot _00001621.jpg
Now playing
01:40
Cruz: I have consistently opposed shutdowns
CNN
Now playing
00:55
Cruz: Grief after shooting staggers the mind
CNN
Now playing
01:37
Ted Cruz on the porn tweet: 'It was not me'
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 20:  U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during the first day of the Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill March 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 20: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during the first day of the Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill March 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
01:39
Ted Cruz on health care: The math is simple
ted cruz sex toys dana bash intv sot_00003507.jpg
ted cruz sex toys dana bash intv sot_00003507.jpg
Now playing
01:13
Ted Cruz: The left seems obsessed with sex
CNN
Now playing
00:51
Porn video 'like' removed from Cruz's Twitter
cruz health care sot
CNN
cruz health care sot
Now playing
01:15
Cruz: Senators will face tough questions
ac zeleny who is ted cruz_00005407.jpg
ac zeleny who is ted cruz_00005407.jpg
Now playing
03:09
Who is Ted Cruz?

Story highlights

The Texas senator placed increased significance on his performance on Super Tuesday

Ted Cruz finished behind Marco Rubio in the past two Republican nominating contests

Watch CNN’s Republican debate live on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Houston CNN —  

Ted Cruz on Wednesday defended his path to victory even as his chances on Super Tuesday look increasingly dour, doing little to tamp down expectations of how he’ll do on a day he calls the “most important of the entire presidential election.”

Facing scrutiny from reporters following an event here, the Texas senator repeatedly declined to predict how he would do after March 1. He would not outline which states he might win later in March, and he maintained that he would do “well” but would not say whether he would win more than 50% of the votes or delegates available.

“I’m curious how many reporters ask Marco Rubio after losing four states in a row, ‘So when do you drop out when you haven’t won a state?’” Cruz told reporters after receiving the endorsement of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. “It will matter a great deal where the delegate count is at the end of the day Super Tuesday.”

Cruz’s strategy has been thrown into question after failing to sufficiently consolidate evangelical support in Nevada and especially in South Carolina, a state with a similar ideological profile to the others he’s hoping to win. Cruz maintained Wednesday, however, that he was taking none of the so-called SEC states for granted.

“The terrain is very favorable. And we’re going to campaign hard,” Cruz said, framing the history of the race against Trump in a way that ignored Trump’s win in Nevada on Tuesday evening. “He’s won two of the first three states, and I’ve won one. And we’re now teed up exactly where we planned to be: on Super Tuesday, a clear and direct choice for the voters.”