Ted Cruz is a conservative icon. But plenty of Republicans don’t care for him

Grim news for Ted: 38% of Republicans say they could not support Ted Cruz if he were the nominee and 40% say they could.

Click here to read the full March 23, 2015 story from The Washington Post quoted in part below:

[D]espite Cruz’s popularity with tea party conservatives, the Republican from Texas will start off in the 2016 polls as something of an also-ran — averaging just 5.5 percent support.


This is at least somewhat understandable for two reasons: 1) Cruz isn’t that well-known nationally to casual followers of politics, and 2) there are a lot of viable potential GOP candidates. This makes it difficult for any one of them to look very strong in early polls, relative to past years when fewer big-name candidates were splitting up the vote.

But Cruz’s ballot-test numbers aren’t the only ones that don’t look great for him — or perhaps more accurately, aren’t as good as you might think. No, you also could make a pretty strong argument that Cruz’s take-no-prisoners style (on display during the 2013 government shutdown) has alienated plenty of Republicans, too. And overall, his national brand is a little less sterling than you might think for a supposed conservative hero.

This has been shown in a few different polls. To wit:

1) An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released this month showed that 38 percent of Republicans said they couldn’t see themselves backing Cruz, with 40 percent saying they could support him. The only other top-tier candidate with a worse ratio of potential supporters to non-starters was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (32 percent to 57 percent), whose issues with the GOP base are well-established.

And the number of Republicans who said they couldn’t back Cruz was on par with former Florida governor Jeb Bush (42 percent), former Texas governor Rick Perry (40) and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky (40), all who have much clearer reasons for their detractors — Bush because of his more moderate positions on immigration and Common Core, Perry because of his disastrous 2012 campaign, and Paul because of his libertarianism and non-interventionist foreign policy.

What Ted Cruz Would Need to Do to Win

Ted Cruz must first win the support of the GOP’s anti-establishment wing before he can take on Jeb Bush to win the nomination.

Click here to read the full March 23, 2015 analysis from The New York Times quoted in part below:

  • The Coalition

    To win the Republican nomination, Mr. Cruz will have to bring together the party’s  anti-establishment wing, which is made of separate-but-overlapping voter blocs, including Christian conservatives, libertarians and Tea Party voters angry with the leadership of both parties. His ultimate goal is to get into a one-on-one campaign against whoever emerges as the favorite of establishment Republicans. To do this, he must find a way to stand out in a crowded lane of conservative hopefuls. In a general election, Mr. Cruz would not attempt to win over centrist voters as much as he would try to galvanize conservatives who did not vote in recent presidential elections because they were dissatisfied with the choices.

  • The Map

    Mr. Cruz’s primary prospects depend on a strong performance in Iowa or South Carolina, both of which include substantial numbers of Christian conservatives. If he is unable to win one of those early states, or at least be one of the top conservatives in the states that kick off the nominating process, he will have a difficult time surviving into March, when there is likely to be a rapid succession of contests.