I suspect Erickson is right about the way the race is headed, but that Allah is right about the way the endgame will go. Cruz and Rubio both gave great speeches at RedState Gathering. Cruz gives a barn-burner outsider speech, like the younger Ronald Reagan. Rubio gives a fantastic uplifting "Morning in America" speech, also much like Reagan but the sunnier Reagan of the later years.
Historically, Reagan follows Carter. This last eight years has brought America back to the Carter years in a number of ways -- not least of which is that inflation-adjusted income has declined to levels not seen since the mid-1970s, especially for men and native-born Americans. The Middle East situation shows Iran ascendant in a way that it hasn't been since the 1979 coup. The Russian bear is resurgent. Crime is up for the first time in decades.
Middle America may well be looking for a Reagan. If it comes down to Rubio versus Cruz, the question will be which of the Reagans they see on the stump better represents the Reagan they think they need.