PPP Polls: Ted Cruz a Top 6 GOP Contender for 2016

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Rick Perry wasn't good enough for their polls, so they inserted another Texan, instead: Ted Cruz. As it turns out, Ted Cruz's many antics have vaulted him into the GOP 2016 conversation in a little bit  more than word only.

From PPP Polls' new survey:

PPP's monthly look at the 2016 Republican field for President finds essentially a 4 way tie at the top- Marco Rubio has 16%, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie 15% each, and Rand Paul 14%. Paul Ryan at 9%, Ted Cruz at 7%, Rick Santorum at 5%, Bobby Jindal at 3%, and Susana Martinez at 1% round out the potential candidates we tested.

So 6th place and 7%. On first glance, that's unimpressive, but Ted Cruz has actually put himself in a fantastic position to run for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016 should he choose to do so. Read on for that analysis.The leader of the pack, Marco Rubio, is only at 16%. No one has a commanding lead, and 7% isn't much lower than 16%. Ted Cruz is new to the scene, so he has plenty of room to grow.

Cruz comes in with a net favorable rating among GOP voters, 27%-13%. What's striking with those numbers is that they're both low. 60% answered “not sure.” As a proxy for name recognition, only Susanna Martinez was less known of PPP's suggested GOP candidates.

PPP Polls first started its 2016 surveys six months ago, and only Rand Paul, son of Texan Ron, has received a notable bump in his numbers since then. Rand Paul started at a familiar 7% — and his name recognition was far higher in December than Cruz's is now. If Ted Cruz continues to embarrass Texas in a way that only endears him to Republicans, he can make up even more ground than Paul.

Yes, if Ted Cruz plays it right (a big if), he can eventually become the GOP front-runner for 2016.

Wow. That would be scary.

Luckily, even if Cruz is able to capture his party's nomination, we aren't likely to see him in the White House. While his embarrassing actions do endear him to Republicans, they are actually embarrassing in the eyes of others. his favorability rating with registered voters nationally is a flipped version of his GOP ratings. Nation-wide, only 15% view him favorably compared to 27% unfavorable.  

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