- The Washington Times - Friday, September 27, 2013

Fresh off his 21-hour filibuster against Obamacare funding, a new poll shows that Sen. Ted Cruz has leapfrogged past his potential rivals for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination and that GOP primary voters trust him more than their party leaders on Capitol Hill.

The Public Policy Polling survey found that 20 percent of those surveyed supported Mr. Cruz, Texas Republican, while 17 percent supported Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, 14 percent supported New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and 11 percent supported former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

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

Mr. Cruz has climbed eight percentage points in the poll since July - thanks in large part to strong support from people who identified themselves as “very conservative” and who support a government shutdown by a 75 percent to 10 percent margin.

The poll also found that Mr. Cruz is more trusted then Mr. McConnell, the Senate minority leader, Mr. Boehner, the speaker of the House, and Sen. John McCain, the party’s 2008 presidential nominee.
“Our numbers also suggest that Cruz is now viewed more broadly as the leader of the Republican Party,” the poll analysis said. “He now has more credibility with the GOP base than the folks who have been leading the party for years.”

The Democratic National Committee signaled they are happy with the idea of Mr. Cruz becoming the face of the Republican party by blasting out the poll results to reporters.

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The PPP poll surveyed 743 Republican primary voters on Sept. 25 and Sept 26. and carries a margin of error of 3.6 percent.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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