The recent momentum behind GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz is almost palpable. In recent weeks, he’s been steadily rising, and now the new national Quinnipiac poll released today shows Cruz within spitting distance of perennial frontrunner Donald Trump.
And while 50 percent of American voters say they’d be embarrassed to have Trump as president — and Trump losing to Hillary Clinton 40% to 47% in a general election matchup — the poll suggests Cruz would now TIE Clinton in the general election.
The biggest loser of all in the new Quinnipiac poll? The GOP establishment.
As Breitbart reports:
A whole host of pre-holiday polls show that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is about to have a very merry Christmas. For the first time since the collapse of Ben Carson, Donald Trump has some real competition. Nationally, a new Quinnipiac poll shows Trump leading with 28%, but the Texas Republican Senator is right on his heels with 24% support.This same Quinnipiac poll shows Cruz tied with Hillary Clinton at 44%. Trump loses to Clinton 40% to 47%. What’s interesting is that Clinton is a very well known figure, one of the most famous politicians in the country, and even against Trump she tops out at 47%. In South Carolina, where Trump has dominated forever, Cruz has tied things up at 27%. Should Trump lose Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina was seen as his firewall.
In New Hampshire, Trump leads with 24% support. Cruz is now in second at 16%.
Cruz has jumped to second place in Florida. Trump is still in first with 29%, Cruz sits at 18%.
According to the most recent poll out of Iowa, Cruz is outright beating Trump, 40% to 31%.
While there is no question Trump is still in the lead, Cruz definitely has the wind at his back.
The other big story out of this latest round of polls is the continuing collapse of the Republican Establishment, specifically favorite son Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). Nationally, in the Quinnipiac poll, Rubio, at 12%, lost -5 points; while Cruz surged +8. Between Trump, Carson, and Cruz, the anti-establishment garners an astounding 62% national support. Trump and Cruz alone eat up 52%. Assuming Carson doesn’t rebound, that 10% is almost certainly going to go to either Trump or Cruz.
Jeb Bush and Chris Christie only have 8% nationally to leave to an Establishment candidate. The two governors sit at 4.5% and 3.5%, respectively.
As Breitbart points out, the establishment doesn’t fare well either in state polls, from South Carolina — where anti-Establishment support is at a whopping 65% — to the “Establishment Firewall” of New Hampshire, where Cruz and Trump together comprise 40% support, compared to the 36% of Bush, Christie and Rubio combined.
Breitbart makes the case that, “what this tells us is that with the possible exception of New Hampshire, even if the GOP Establishment does consolidate around a single candidate, which is unlikely until after South Carolina, it might not work.
As of now, with about 5 weeks until the actual voting begins, 2016 is looking like a race no one imagined: Donald Trump vs. Ted Cruz while, with bitter tears streaming down their plump cheeks, the Establishment presses its snotty nose against the glass wondering why voters won’t ask them to come out and play.
While it ponders the lump of coal in its stocking, perhaps the establishment will start to take a hard look at what’s behind this election year phenomenon. Moves like last week’s Omnibus bill that gave away the farm to the liberal progressive agenda, with seemingly nothing to show in exchange, certainly aren’t likely to help its position in the minds of angry voters.
And to those who suggest anti-Establishment conservatives are cutting of their noses to spite their face — i.e., likely to nominate someone who has no chance of winning in the general election because they’re “too conservative” — today’s Quinnipiac poll showing Ted Cruz tied with Hillary Clinton should remind everyone that this election cycle is defying all conventional wisdom. Voters are fed up with status quo, business-as-usual; so we shouldn’t expect either of those from them.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]