After Tuesday night’s definitive wins by Donald Trump, rival Ted Cruz is under more pressure than ever to win Indiana’s primary this coming Tuesday. Two new polls suggest an Indiana win is certainly within reach for Cruz, though it definitely could go either way, it appears.
In the latest, Trump continues to lead, but only by two points — well within the poll’s margin of error of 4.75 points. The second most recent poll, taken before last Tuesday’s primaries, showed Trump with a five-point lead.
FiveThirtyEight currently puts Cruz’s chances of winning Indiana on Tuesday at 61%.
Via Power Line:
According to a survey by Clout Research, Donald Trump holds only a two point lead over Ted Cruz in Indiana. It’s Trump 37, Cruz 35, and Kasich 16.I’m not familiar with Clout Research. However, FiveThirtyEight, which obsesses over pollster reliability, gives good weight to Clout’s Indiana poll. In addition, my look at its polls during this election season did not indicate that Clout shouldn’t be taken seriously. For example, last December it found Trump to be far-and-away the most popular Republican candidate with 40 percent support. Cruz was second at 20 percent, with Rubio and Carson tied for third at 10 percent. This was probably an accurate assessment of the race as it was then. Certainly, the results reflect no bias against Trump.
Let’s also note that Clout’s poll (from April 27) is in line with the second most recent Indiana survey, which was conducted by CBS-YouGov on April 20-22. It found Trump leading Cruz by 5 points, 40-35.
Indiana, then, appears to be close. Cruz may not win, but he should do well enough (1) to win a decent number of delegates and (2) to end the sense that Republican voters have repudiated him en masse.
Cruz’s real problem appears to be in California where he’s way behind in the polls. Fortunately for him, that contest isn’t until June. However, it’s far from clear how he can flip this race. Fiorina may be help some, but it’s unlikely that she’s a game-changer, even in her home state.
Of course, both polls were taken before some interesting and potentially meaningful developments heading into Indiana, such as Cruz’s announcement of Carly Fiorina as vice president and Trump’s endorsement by legendary Indiana Hoosiers basketball coach Bobby Knight — which could carry significant weight in the state.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]