Sen. Ted Cruz may not have succeeded in stopping the vote for cloture, but he sure caught the eye of voters. The latest PPP national poll shows Sen. Ted Cruz is now the top choice of Republican primary voters to be their candidate for President in 2016. He pulled ahead of the pack with 20 percent, with Rand Paul close behind at 17 percent, 14 percent for Chris Christie, 11 percent for Jeb Bush, 10 percent each for Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, 4 percent for Bobby Jindal, and 3 percent each for Rick Santorum and Scott Walker.
Cruz has gained 8 points from the PPP poll in July, while everyone else has maintained their level of support. He took a stand and threatened a government shutdown over Obamacare, and the Republican base supports that by a 64/20 margin. Republicans who identify as ‘very conservative’ support a shutdown 75/10, but even the moderate wing of the party supports it by a 46/36 margin, despite the mainstream media narrative.
Cruz is leading the GOP field in the PPP poll, because of his appeal to “very conservative” primary voters, 34 percent of whom support Cruz, with 17 percent for Rand Paul and 12 percent for Paul Ryan. If true it would be a nightmare for Karl Rove, but “very conservative voters” make up the largest portion of the Republican electorate at 39 percent. Moderates support Cruz by only 4 percent, with Gov. Christie leading with this group at 34 percent, 12 percent for Jeb Bush, and 10 percent for Sen. Marco Rubio, but they only account for 18% of GOP voters and thus aren’t all that relevant to Cruz’s prospects for winning a Republican nomination.
Although I wouldn’t yet make a declaration, PPP says their numbers suggest Cruz is now viewed more broadly as the leader of the Republican Party. Perhaps, that is because the Democratic polling company would like to paint the entire party as far to the right, but when asked whether they trust Cruz or GOP leader Mitch McConnell more, voters pick Cruz by 49/13. When it comes to who’s more trusted – Cruz or House Speaker John Boehner – Cruz has an even bigger 51/20 advantage.
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, when it comes to Cruz and 2008 GOP nominee and current fellow-Senate colleague John McCain, voters pick Cruz by 52/31. Party leaders should take note, because if PPP’s numbers are correct, Cruz now has more credibility with the GOP base than the folks who have been leading the party for years.
“Ted Cruz this week established himself as the grassroots hero of the Republican Party,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “The party base has a lot more faith in him than their more official leaders like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.” That, for me, is pretty easy to believer. However, I will wait to see what other polls say, as PPP is not exactly known for its impartiality. During the 2012 presidential election, they tweeted in dismay when the first voter they called in Ohio, picked Mitt Romney.
PPP surveyed 743 Republican primary voters on September 25th and 26th. The margin of error is +/-3.6%. This poll was not authorized or paid for by any campaign or political organization. PPP’s surveys are conducted through automated telephone interviews.