072215i-Ted-CruzOverheard at Porter Square Books: A shaggy-haired man reproaching a book seller, saying “You only have one copy? You should have a thousand copies!”

What could this book be? The customer disappears into the aisles with the employee and reappears carrying a hardbound copy of “A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America” by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican whom the customer apparently believes will be “the next president of the United States.”

A Real Clear Politics average of polls between July 9-19 show Cruz performing in the middle of the pack of Republicans heading toward primaries – with a potential 5.8 percent of the vote. The frontrunner in the poll average is Donald Trump, with 18 percent, followed by Jeb Bush at 13.8 percent. Also topping Cruz are Scott Walker, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul; Cruz is tied with Mike Huckabee and leads another eight GOP contenders.

His book sold almost 12,000 copies nationwide its first week of release, according to The New York Times, but was initially kept off best-seller lists because of suspicions numbers were being pumped up via bulk buys by political organizations.

“Could Ted Cruz Win?” conservative Times columnist Ross Douthat asked in a March column. “No, I don’t think he will – not the nomination, not the presidency … Even allowing for the black swan possibility, I think Cruz is a poorer candidate than some of his admirers think to be a bird of that dark hue.”

Ignoring that a Google search for “crazy things Ted Cruz says” pulls up an unnervingly high number of lists (comedian Lewis Black calls Cruz “a gold mine”), Cruz actually has some smarts, as proven his roots in Cambridge: He attended Harvard Law in the 1990s, where he was a notorious snob who would study only with graduates of other top Ivy League schools.

But here’s how Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall and his contemporaries remember him:

“Ted? Oh yeah, immense asshole.” Sometimes “total raging asshole.” Sometimes other variations on the theme. But you get the idea. Very common reaction.

The entire piece is worth a read here.