A new national poll has found that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is not only the 2016 frontrunner but also the politician Republicans view as their new leader in Washington, D.C.
A Public Policy Polling poll of GOP primary voters conducted September 25-26, while Cruz was speaking on the Senate floor for 21 hours in support of defunding Obamacare, found Cruz is the top choice “among 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 received the support of 34% of “very conservative” voters while Paul received 17% and Ryan 12%. Those “very conservative” voters make up the greatest share of the GOP primary electorate at 39%.
The poll also found that “Cruz is now viewed more broadly as the leader of the Republican Party” over Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH):
When asked whether they trust Cruz or GOP leader Mitch McConnell more, Cruz wins out 49/13. When it comes to who’s more trusted between Cruz and Speaker John Boehner, Cruz has a 51/20 advantage. And when it comes to Cruz and 2008 GOP nominee and Senate colleague John McCain, Cruz wins out 52/31. He 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, which is left-leaning. “The party base has a lot more faith in him than their more official leaders like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.”
Cruz has said this week that he is accountable to the grassroots and has blistered Washington’s permanent political class for not listening to Americans outside of the beltway. He hammered that point time and time again while he was on the Senate floor for his quasi-filibuster.
The poll, which surveyed 743 GOP primary voters, has a margin of error is +/- 3.6%.