Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

While Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) 21 hour fake filibuster that even Cruz himself voted to end may have accomplished nothing legislatively, it has made him the newest darling with the Republican base. According to PPP, Cruz is now the top choice for President in 2016 among Republicans. From PPP:

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