As if his lack of popularity with his Senate colleagues was not enough to make Ted Cruz feel like staying home from the State of the Union address, word is that Cruz may end up being even less popular with GOP House members. Early this morning, Politico published “Pollster: Cruz Would Hurt GOP Hopefuls Most,” detailing the GOP House leadership meeting last weekend with National Republican Congressional Committee pollster Dave Sackett. According to the article, Speaker Paul Ryan (it’s still a little awful to type those three words consecutively) asked Sackett which of the possible presidential nominees would have the worst impact on Republicans’ 2016 House prospects. The answer: Ted Cruz:
After the presentation to the group of elected Republican leaders, Ryan (R-Wis.) asked Sackett which of the Republican presidential hopefuls would be most detrimental to GOP House candidates on the ballot this year. Sackett replied that Cruz would have the biggest negative effect, citing the Texas senator’s starkly ideological positions, according to six sources who were in the meeting.
Sackett added (very quickly, I imagine) that “the public’s perception of Cruz could shift if he becomes the nominee.” Now, I’m betting that Sackett made this comment to assuage any fears he may have perceived flashing across the assembled GOP honchos faces. But as their colleagues over in the Senate would tell them, Ted Cruz’s popularity growth curve is not necessarily something to bank on.
In remarks he might consider trademarking, Cruz’s communications director was impressively unimpressed:
Rick Tyler, communications director for Cruz’s presidential campaign, dismissed Sackett’s analysis “as the same old tired thinking that we always get.” Tyler described that view as having “ to nominate someone in the moderate middle in order to win [the White House]. That’s the same old thing we hear every four years, and it just doesn’t stand up anymore.”
Well, maybe Tyler’s got a point, if what you’re trying to do is replicate your 2012 win in the Texas primary for U.S. Senate. But there is the pesky fact that presidential elections are not decided in the GOP primary. The general election counts. And Paul Ryan knows it. That’s why he asked the question. And that’s why I’m so excited to debut our latest BOR graph:
Unfortunately, the area of intersection may be too small for the naked eye but it’s there! We seem to be witnessing a meeting of the minds: both BOR and Paul Ryan know that Ted Cruz will cost the House GOP seats. Looks like Paul Ryan and his buddies may have to learn the lesson BOR’s been trying to teach everyone the hard way: #YouCruzYouLose