According to a new CNN poll, Ted Cruz’s popularity among Republicans sharply dipped after the GOP convention, but he gained among another voters. In the end, Cruz’s overall popularity stayed exactly the same as before.
Before the convention, 66% of Republican voters had a positive impression of Cruz, but after the series of events in which Cruz refused to endorse Donald Trump and the Trump campaign reportedly orchestrated events so the delegates booed Cruz, the percentage of GOPers approving of Cruz dropped to 33%.
Yet the dip for Cruz is not a reflection of support for Trump; roughly one-quarter of the party feels that the party will not unite for November, while a similar percentage feels that the party is united now, rising from 16% before the convention to only 24% now. Additionally, 45% of GOP respondents still would prefer another presidential nominee.
Trump may have poisoned Cruz’s reputation among Republicans, but interestingly, Cruz’s popularity rose among the rest of the electorate. Among Americans in general, Cruz received a 26% approval rating before the convention, which rose to 39% after the convention. If the poll is an accurate reflection of the American public, that means that Cruz neither gained nor lost with his stance, as Republicans comprise 26% of the electorate, according to Gallup, with 29% of the electorate being Democrats and 42% identifying as independents.
Thus a 13% increase in voters other than Republicans means Cruz got 13% more of over 70% of the electorate, meaning a 9% increase overall, while his 33% decrease among Republicans would mean he lost 9% of the overall vote.
Cruz has long had little regard for trying to win over the majority of Republican voters if he feels he is right in principle, as The Washington Post noted:
After he became the face of an October 2013 government shutdown, Cruz’s popularity sank among Republicans, according to the Pew Research Center, from 53 percent among all Republicans down to 35 percent. But his popularity soared with people who already liked Cruz. After the shutdown, some 74 percent of tea party-affiliated voters had a positive image of Cruz.