Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is losing ground on a key metric that is often predicative of electoral success.
According to a new national Gallup survey, Cruz’s favorability rating has dropped to 55% from 64% just a month ago among Republican voters. His unfavorable rating, meanwhile, has also risen from 16% to 23% with GOP voters.
Cruz’s net-favourable rating of plus-32 remains higher than Republican front-runner Donald Trump. But his mark is now similar to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R).
Cruz’s plummeting favorability ratings come as he’s been the subject of a barrage of attacks from his presidential opponents — particularly Trump, with whom he has engaged in a heated battle leading up to next week’s Iowa caucus.
“As is always the case with changes in survey measures, it is hard to be specific about the precise causes of change. One factor that undoubtedly has played a part in the process is Cruz’s public fighting with Donald Trump,” wrote Frank Newport, Gallup’s editor in chief.
Rubio has also traded barbs with Cruz over immigration reform, accusing the Texas senator of changing his position for political gain.
Finally, Cruz is facing an increasingly uphill battle as establishment Republican lawmakers have begun to take his candidacy more seriously.
Many notable Republican figures have begun publicly musing that Trump would actually be a more palatable nominee than Cruz, who is widely despised among his colleagues in the Senate.
Former Republican presidential nominee Sen. Bob Dole has said in multiple interviews that he would support Trump over Cruz. Sen. Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) reportedly said at a private event that he would support Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) over Cruz in a hypothetical general election match-up.
“I think we’ll lose if he’s our nominee,” added Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to CNN.
Hatch continued: “There’s a lot of people who don’t feel he can appeal to people across the board. For us to win, we have to appeal to the moderates and independents. We can’t just act like that only one point of view is the only way to go. That’s where Ted is going to have some trouble.”
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