PPP's newest Texas poll finds a mix of good news and bad news for Ted Cruz following his evolution into a major national figure over the last few months.
The good news:
-Cruz is the overwhelming top choice of Texas Republicans to be their Presidential candidate in 2016. He gets 32% to 13% for Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, 10% for Rand Paul, 6% for Bobby Jindal, 5% each for Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, and 3% each for Rick Santorum and an incredibly weak on the home front Rick Perry. Cruz's 19 point lead over the GOP field is up from 12 in late June.
-Although Cruz has abysmal favorability numbers in most of the rest of the country, his net approval rating in Texas is the same as it was in June. 47% of voters approve of him to 41% who disapprove. It was 42/36 last time around so he's better known now but as his profile has risen equal numbers of voters have grown to approve or disapprove of him.
And then there's the bad news:
-50% of Texans say that Cruz has been bad for the state's reputation to only 37% who think he's been good for it. Among independents those numbers are even worse with 58% feeling he's hurt the state's image to only 36% who think he's been helpful.
-Even in Texas 56% of voters say they opposed the government shutdown to only 38% who were supportive of it.
Hypothetical Presidential match ups with Hillary Clinton for 2016 are a little bit closer than you might expect for Texas- and the Republicans who do better are the ones from out of state. Jeb Bush polls the strongest against Clinton, leading her 49/42. Chris Christie does next best, leading 44/39, followed by Rand Paul with a 48/44 advantage. Cruz leads Clinton only 48/45, and Rick Perry actually trails her 47/45. The poll numbers are overall brutal for Perry with only 15% of voters in the state thinking he should run for President in 2016 to 73% who think he should sit it out. Even among Republicans only 22% think he should run while 60% say no.
Other notes from Texas:
-Voters in the state have mixed feelings about Johnny Football with 26% of them rating him favorably to 23% with an unfavorable opinion. 50% don't have an opinion either way. The previous year's in state Heisman recipient, Robert Griffin III, has a much better favorability rating at 36/11. Asked which of the two they like better, Texans pick RGIII by a 28/23 margin.
-The Cowboys beat out the Texans, 47/33, for NFL loyalty in the Lone Star State. Democrats overwhelmingly prefer the Cowboys, 57/24, while it's a lot closer among Republicans at 45/36. The Spurs are the state's NBA team of choice at 38% followed, by the Mavericks at 22%, and the Rockets at 21%.
-And finally- we've found a lot of pretty degrading poll numbers for Congress over the course of this year, but this might be the worst one. The Houston Astros went 51-111 this season, but no matter- by a 65/10 margin Texans think they did a better job than Congress this year. And there's no party divide on that question as Republicans (65/14) and Democrats (64/10) pick the Astros in almost equal numbers on that question.
Full results here