Poll: Cruz leads 2016 GOP presidential field, has more credibility than party leaders

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Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, fresh off his 21-hour Obamacare protest on the Senate floor, is the number one choice among Republican primary voters to run as the GOP candidate for president in 2016, according to a new poll.

Public Policy Polling released a new national poll on Friday showing Cruz leading the prospective GOP field with 20 percent of the vote to 17 percent for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s 14 percent, 11 percent for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 10 percent for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, 10 percent for Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s four percent, three percent for former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and three percent for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

PPP notes that Cruz has risen in popularity by eight points since July — when the polling firm took its last national 2016 poll — while the rest of the field has remained relatively stagnant.

Cruz also leads the field among “very conservative” primary voters, who compose 39 percent of the electorate, pulling in 34 percent of that vote to 17 percent for Rand Paul and 12 percent for Paul Ryan. Among moderates, or 18 percent of the electorate, Christie leads with 34 percent to Bush’s 12 percent and Rubio’s 10 percent.

GOP voters also trust Cruz more than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel (49 percent to 13 percent) and House Speaker John Boehner (51 percent to 20 percent). Cruz also leads Arizona Sen. John McCain in credibility, 52 percent to 31 among Republican voters.

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

According to the poll, Republicans support a government shutdown over Obamacare 64 percent to 20 percent.

The survey of 743 Republican primary voters was taken on Sept. 25 and Sept. 26, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points.

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