Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ted Cruz Surging in Iowa, Viewed as Most Electable

The latest Quinnipiac Iowa poll had great news for Ted Cruz on several fronts.

He is surging and now is just behind Donald Trump for the lead (technically a statistical tie):

There is good news and bad news in the fact that he has 42% of those who consider themselves Tea Party.  The good news is that the Tea Party vote is not as divided as it has been in previous cycles and that Cruz seems to be the consensus Tea Party pick (not a shock based on my Twitter feed).  The bad news is that with such a level of support, how much more juice can Ted Cruz get from Tea Partiers?  He is also winning among white evangelicals but he has more room to grow here, especially if he gets the Bob Vander Plaats endorsement.  Anyway, it is increasingly looking like Iowa is Ted Cruz's to lose at this point.

Another reason to be happy with this poll is that he is now being viewed as the most electable candidate:

This is very important because he has a clear lead among those that want someone who is the most conservative (or most shares their values) but has always lagged in the electable category.  It's also important that he wins among those who say the most important characteristic is that the candidate be honest and trustworthy.  Rubio is behind Trump in these voters!

On the policy front, as usual Trump is leading in the economic category but his lead isn't as high as before.  I think though that Cruz needs to continue to talk about economic issues to win more of these voters.  He is doing great with those who most care about terrorism but the ISIS hysteria will fade.

A good sign that this Cruz boom will be sustainable is that a little less than half of Cruz supporters have already made up their mind to vote for him. 

Note that only 22% of Rubio support is actually firm.  I think a lot of people like Rubio because he is generally likeable, looks good on TV and talks well.  But not that many people outside of the Weekly Standard actually LOVE him. This could mean that as other establishment candidates, like Chris Christie, have little boomlets, his supporters might switch quickly. 

Also, Ted Cruz seems to be the least hated candidate out there with the fewest percentage of people saying they would never vote for him. That is pretty amazing as the conventional wisdom is that he is a divisive figure.  Cruz seems to have a high ceiling of support.

Going hand in hand with that is the fact that his favorables are pretty much as high as you can get them among Iowa voters, pretty much across the board (except for moderate/liberal voters):

And if there was any statistic to make you believe that Cruz will end up crushing Trump in Iowa, here it is: 

The vast majority of respondents believe that Ted Cruz cares about their problems while only 58% of them think Trump does.  People tend to vote for people who care.  It's really reassuring to see Ted Cruz's numbers this high.  He used to have this used car salesman thing about him but he has been able to really humanize the way he talks so that people see that he really does care about them.


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