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57% of Republicans View Ted Cruz Favorably

Monday, September 30, 2013

Freshman Senator Ted Cruz of Texas may not be popular with the Republican establishment following his 21-hour Senate floor speech against the president’s health care law last week, but he’s a favorite of most GOP voters.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Likely Republican Voters have a favorable opinion of Cruz, including 30% who view the senator Very Favorably. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 19% of Republicans view Cruz unfavorably, with seven percent (7%) who view him Very Unfavorably. Another 16% of GOP voters have never heard of him. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

Longtime GOP Senator John McCain was highly critical of Cruz's speech. A March survey found that 52% of Republican voters view McCain favorably, with 16% Very Favorable. Forty-six percent (46%) share an unfavorable opinion of the Arizona senator and 2008 GOP presidential nominee, including 12% with a Very Unfavorable one. 

Just 38% of GOP voters now think the average Republican in Congress shares their views, while 65% believe their congressional representatives are out of touch with the party's base.

Among all voters, 31% view Cruz favorably, while 40% share an unfavorable opinion of him. This includes 16% with a Very Favorable view and 30% with a Very Unfavorable one. Twenty-one percent (21%) have never heard of the Texas senator.

With a federal government shutdown looming as early as tonight at midnight, House Republicans are proposing a short-term budget that would delay the health care law's individual mandate a year, but Senate Democrats are unlikely to agree. Support for a shutdown until the two sides can agree on cuts in funding for the health care law is down from 51% two weeks ago to 46% now.

Most voters still don't like the health care law, and 54% expect it to increase, not reduce, health care costs.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 28-29, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology. 

Though most voters in general believe the Tea Party has less influence these days, most Republicans say it’s important for the congressional GOP to work with the grass roots movement

Cruz is overwhelmingly popular among voters who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement: 79% of those voters view the senator favorably, with 63% who view him Very Favorably.

Among voters not affiliated with either party, 27% view Cruz favorably, 37% unfavorably, and 26% have never heard of him. 

Sixty-one percent (61%) of the Political Class share an unfavorable opinion of the first-term senator. Among Mainstream voters, Cruz earns favorables of 36% and unfavorables of 36%, with 20% who've either never heard of him or are undecided. 

Sixty-three percent (63%) of Americans believe most of their fellow countrymen want the government to have less power and money, but only 22% think most politicians feel that way.

Cruz’s increased exposure has put him front and center in discussions about the 2016 presidential election. Prior to last week’s “faux-filibuster,” the Texas senator trailed Vice President Joe Biden 43% to 32% in a hypothetical 2016 matchup.

One-out-of-two U.S. voters continues to oppose the national health care law’s requirement that every American have health insurance. Most also still don’t know if their state has a health care exchange even though those exchanges are scheduled to start signing up insurance applicants beginning tomorrow.

Thirty-nine percent (39%) of voters have a favorable impression of the Tea Party movement, including 14% who view it Very Favorably. 

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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To learn more about our methodology, click here.