Sen. Ted Cruz’s standing among Republican voters has dropped sharply in the last couple of weeks, with more of the party’s supporters now having a negative impression of him than a positive one for the first time in this campaign year, new data from Gallup show.
The decline comes at a crucial time for Cruz. Tuesday’s primary in Indiana could be critical for his campaign as he tries to amass enough delegates to keep Donald Trump from gaining the majority needed to secure the Republican nomination. Recent polls have shown Cruz trailing Trump in the state.
Nationwide, until recently at least half of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents had a positive view of Cruz, according to Gallup’s polls. But that share began to shrink quickly in early April as Cruz emerged as Trump’s final true rival for the nomination.
As of Gallup’s most recent weekly survey, only 39% of the party’s voters viewed Cruz favorably. The share viewing Cruz unfavorably has risen almost as fast as his favorable share has declined. Currently, 45% view him unfavorably.
By contrast, Trump’s image among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents has improved, with 59% viewing him favorably and 35% having an unfavorable view. That returns Trump to the position he enjoyed in early February before attacks from his rivals and outside groups began to take a toll on his standing.
Both men remain quite unpopular among the potential general electorate. Although Trump is more popular among Republicans now, he is more unpopular among Democrats, so the two have roughly similar standings overall in Gallup’s most recent surveys.
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