But it is still a path, senior fellow Philip Wallach of the Brookings Institution argues.
"Fiorina was teetering on the edge of political irrelevancy, and this puts her back in the spotlight, at least for a little while," Wallach told ABC News today.
"There’s also a non-trivial chance it could lead to her being vice president; betting markets still give Cruz an outside chance of getting the Republican nomination, and he and Fiorina would have a chance in the general election."
As for the new Cruz-Fiorina team, the two are similar in some ways, Georgetown University associate professor Hans Noel said.
"Fiorina was often lumped in with [Ben] Carson and Trump as an outsider, but it’s better to say she is part of that more ideological wing of the party in the states. So they are playing similar strategies," he said.
And Cruz’s popularity could change dramatically if the nomination swings his way, Wallach says.
"If Cruz wins the nomination, he becomes one of the party’s most important figures, period," Wallach said. "I don’t imagine all the bad relations between him and party leaders would instantly be healed, but he would definitely have a chance to reinvent himself as a unifying figure."
The Texas-born former Hewlett Packer CEO, 61, ran against Cruz earlier in this campaign before dropping out in February. She took a month out of the spotlight before rejoining the campaign trail by endorsing Cruz on March 9, which helped her re-enter the race full-time.
"I’m not really sure what the downside is for Fiorina," Wallach said. "If this gambit fails, she may be done in Republican politics, but that may well have been true if she did nothing."