For Texas progressives, this week has rightfully been full of joy at the Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. But work still remains to be done, including electing pro-choice officials at all levels of our state.
Buried in the news this week was a small bit of good news on that front. Texas’ not-so-favorite junior Senator Ted Cruz, who is vehemently anti-choice, looks to be losing ground. A new poll from UT’s Texas politics project suggests Ted Cruz is facing his lowest approval and favorability ratings ever in Texas.
Cruz has been keeping a relatively low profile since dropping out of the election, which is good, because his time in the spotlight seems to be responsible for his drop in popularity. According to the pollsters at UT, his approval rating fell from 71% in October 2015 to 55% in June 2016. Granted, that’s still a majority who, for some reason, approve of the job Ted Cruz is doing as senator, but the key here is the drop — in the eight months he spent in the spotlight, his approval rating dropped 16%.
That is even more apparent when see the breakdown of Cruz’s approval ratings. Take a look at this graphic from the Texas Politics Poll:
Anything catch your eye? How about the fact that the tallest column is the “Disapprove Strongly” column? Of everyone the Texas politics poll surveyed, the largest number of people said they “Disapproved Strongly” of Cruz.
Let’s compare this to the results of the February poll, which my colleague Lize Burr covered. In that poll, Cruz’s “Disapprove Strongly” rating was also the highest — but now it’s gone up from 29% to 31%. Meanwhile, the number of Texans who say they “Approve Strongly” of Cruz has plummeted from 25% to 18%.
Overall, Ted Cruz’s net favorability ratings are negative, which, as the folks at the Texas Politics Poll pointed out, are “a hard number to use in declaring yourself a favorite son from your state.”
Given these results, Lize’s thesis from February appears to be confirmed. It really does seem like the more Texans get to know Ted Cruz, the less they like him.
But low approval ratings alone aren’t reason enough for progressive Texans to celebrate. Now that we know he’s vulnerable, we’ve got to capitalize on that fact with strong candidate recruitment and GOTV for the 2018 election. Nobody likes Ted Cruz. In 2018, let’s show the rest of the country that even Texans know that You Cruz, You Lose.