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Ted Cruz Gains Standing with GOP Voters After Obamacare Speech

September 30, 2013 - 6:00pm

After his 21-hour speech last week against President Barack Obamas federal health-care law, two polls find U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is in good shape if he turns his focus to running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

Rasmussen Reports released a poll on Monday which finds 57 percent of likely Republican voters across the nation have a favorable opinion of Cruz while 19 percent of them see him as unfavorable. The poll finds most Republicans know Cruz. Only 16 percent of likely Republican primary voters have never heard of the freshman senator. Cruz does very well with tea party supporters, with 79 percent of those voters seeing him as favorable.

As well as he does with Republicans, Cruz is upside down when the poll is expanded to include all voters. Less than a third of all voters surveyed -- 31 percent -- see Cruz in a favorable light while 40 percent see him as unfavorable. Only 16 percent of all voters surveyed see Cruz as very favorable while 30 percent see him as very unfavorable. Cruz is less well-known among all voters than he is among Republicans, with 21 percent of all voters never having heard of him.

The poll also finds Cruz is not doing well with voters who arent registered with either of the two major parties. Cruz is upside down with these voters with only 27 percent of them viewing him as favorable, 37 percent seeing him as unfavorable and 26 percent never having heard of him.

The Rasmussen poll of 1,000 likely voters was taken from Sept. 28-29 and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

Cruz also did well in a poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP), a firm with connections to prominent Democrats, released on Friday.

The senator leads a PPP poll of the Republican presidential field with 20 percent followed by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in second with 17 percent and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey in third with 14 percent. Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida takes 11 percent followed by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who garner 10 percent each. Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana takes 4 percent followed by former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin who take 3 percent apiece.

PPP asked Republicans if they trusted Cruz more than GOP leaders in Congress. Almost half -- 49 percent -- said they trusted Cruz more than U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who 13 percent trusted more. A slim majority -- 51 percent -- trusted Cruz more than U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, while 20 percent trusted the House speaker more than the senator from Texas. While 31 percent of Republicans trusted U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., more than Cruz, 52 percent trusted the senator from the Lone Star State more than the 2008 Republican presidential nominee.

Ted Cruz this week established himself as the grassroots hero of the Republican Party, insisted Dean Debnam, the president of PPP. The party base has a lot more faith in him than their more official leaders like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.

The PPP poll of 743 Republican primary voters was taken from Sept. 25-Sept. 26 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percent.

Reach Kevin Derby at or follow him on Twitter at @KevinDerbySSN.

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