PPP’s newest national poll finds Ted Cruz is now the top choice of Republican primary voters to be their candidate for President in 2016. He leads the way with 20% to 17% for Rand Paul, 14% for Chris Christie, 11% for Jeb Bush, 10% each for Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, 4% for Bobby Jindal, and 3% each for Rick Santorum and Scott Walker.
Cruz has gained 8 points since our last national 2016 poll in July while everyone else has more or less stayed in place. He’s made himself the face of a government shutdown over Obamacare, and the Republican base supports that by a 64/20 margin. It’s not surprising that Republicans identifying as ‘very conservative’ support a shutdown 75/10, but even the moderate wing of the party supports it by a 46/36 margin.
2016 polling this far out will tell us nothing about who is likely to win the Republican primary but it does give us a good sense of the current of the Republican base. The Republican base is helping to pull the party as a whole even further to the right. This is why even when Cruz’s plan was clearly stupid and unworkable Speaker Boehner felt he had no choice but to give it a chance.
Photo by Gage Skidmore under Creative Commons license