Cruz just soared in the polls to a statistical tie with Donald Trump according to a new Quinnipiac national poll. Many are starting to see Cruz as the moderate version of Donald Trump but also as someone who can radically reverse the damage from seven years of Obama and years of GOP apathy and elitism.
It’s interesting that this poll followed the cromnibus vote. Cruz came out quickly and strongly against it.
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) December 22, 2015
The poll also showed that half of the US voters would be embarrassed if Trump were the candidate and 35% would be embarrassed by Hillary. According to the Poll, Among Republican or Republican-leaning voters:
- Trump: 28 percent;
- Cruz, 24 percent;
- Marco Rubio, 12 percent;
- Ben Carson, 10 percent;
- Chris Christie, 6 percent;
- Jeb Bush, 4 percent;
- Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, 2 percent each;
- John Kasich, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee 1 percent each.
Rubio is down 4 points and one might assume his debate performance and attack on Cruz didn’t help him. Rubio is the amnesty candidate in the eyes of many. Across the board polls average out to Trump at 34% and Cruz at 18% however.
Conservative columnist and former Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan says that Trump is deepening the divided between the GOP elites and the average GOP voter.
She applauds Trump for sharing the “concerns of those who are legitimately worried about whom we allow into the United States—our visa protocols, our vetting, our standards. This is a national-security issue,” and she believes it is warranted.
On the other hand, she thinks the way he does it is all wrong and he owes it to the American people to exercise political discipline.
Bad on Mr. Trump—very bad—for doing it in his usual way. Colorfully, yes—this is a man who knows how to break through the clutter!—but crudely, seemingly off the top of his head, and using his mouth as a blunt instrument. He doesn’t think it through, doesn’t anticipate legitimate pushback, doesn’t try to persuade, only declares. […]
Trump supporters don’t like the GOP she contends and they see America as in grave danger – no time for “party loyalty.” Trump is “both the expression and a deepening cause of the party’s fissure,” she says further in her recent column.
Her conclusion is probably the most important and it should be required reading for GOP elites.
The biggest reason has been the distance—the chasm—between the party elite at the top, who are more or less for illegal immigration, and the bulk of the party on the ground, who are opposed. In this case there is a chasm between elites concerned that they personally will look bigoted if they take action and voters concerned about who comes into America in the age of ISIS. It is a split, a distance; it is primarily the fault of the top, not the bottom; and Mr. Trump, who through his popularity could choose to be a bridge across the distance is instead functioning as a deepener of it.
As Ms. Noonan points out, the GOP doesn’t understand what is happening and the threat from Trump to party elites is an existential one. Trump and Cruz are the two candidates who best understand what is happening and use it to their advantage. Paul also gets it but he’s viewed as an isolationist at a time when the terror threat is real.
Meanwhile Jeb Bush loves being at the back of the pack according to him and the GOP elite sit back and wait to win as they do nothing to change the minds of the electorate.