Diary

Cruz has major favorability problems in SC.

The recent PPP poll from SC has some pretty interesting data hidden on its crosstabs.

Of particular note, Ted Cruz now has a negative favorability (-6; 42/48). Trump continues to have a positive favorability (+7; 50/43), along with Rubio (+27; 59/32).

 Cruz’s favorability rating is the lowest out of all six remaining candidates. Rubio’s is second highest behind Carson (+45; 68/23).

If one looks at the crosstabs based on primary choice for the three top candidates, the story gets more interesting.

SCFavs

 

Out of the three “why are you still in the race candidates” (Carson, Jeb!, and Kasich), Marco Rubio has the highest favorability ratings with each one. Cruz has massive unfavorables with both the Kasich and Jeb voters.

Jeb! voters have a -39 ( 26/65) favorability for Cruz. This is a very far second behind Rubio (+31; 61/30) and far ahead of Trump (-81; 8/89). Jeb! voters hate Trump only slightly less than Hispanics hate him.

Kasich voters hate pretty much everyone (no surprise there). Cruz leads that contest (arguably a badge of honor)  with a -58 (17/75), only slightly less hated is Trump (-43; 28/71). Kasich supporters feel pretty ambivalent about Rubio (-3; 46/49).

Carson voters surprised me: they seem fairly split on Cruz (+5; 42/37). I took that as a sign that the Iowagate issue actually caused some real animosity in that camp. Hilariously, Trump pretending to care about Carson’s loss isn’t working, as he sits at a -17 (39/56) with them. Rubio (+12; 50/38) has similar, but slightly higher numbers than Cruz.

This strangeness with Carson supporters is exemplified if you look at the second choice crosstabs:

SC2choice

Carson’s vote seems to be split almost equally FOUR different ways! Trump gets 21%, Rubio and Cruz both get 15%, and Jeb! gets 13%. Even Kasich picks up a respectable 8%. Additionally, a huge amount (28%) of Carson voters are undecided on their second choice.

I originally thought that Carson’s support after he quits would be split between Trump and Cruz, but that might not be the case. At first glance this might look like it won’t help anyone in particular, but that depends on what happens to the voters who are in the other two “why don’t you quit” candidates camps (Jeb! 13%; Kasich 8%), and the undecideds (28%). Together that is half of all Carson supporters (49%)!

If  the second-choice Kasich and Jeb! voters have similar feelings as the Jeb! and Kasich camps, then almost all of that support should go to Rubio, as both Cruz (-39, -58) and Trump (-81, -43) are very unliked by those camps. That could result in Rubio’s support from Carson voters going from 15% to 36%.

If the undecideds share the feelings of the Carson voters as a whole, I think that very few of them will choose Trump (-17) , and we’d see a fairly even split between Rubio (+12), and Cruz (+5).Something like a 45-45-10 split for this group between Rubio/Cruz/Trump would result in Cruz and Rubio picking up around 12-13% each and Trump getting 3%.

This would result in Carson voters splitting around 48% to Rubio, 27% to Cruz, and 24% to Trump with some change left over. In other words, Rubio might end up being the biggest beneficiary of Carson dropping out – but this depends on the assumption that the second choice Jeb and Kasich supporters share common views with those groups as a whole. Don’t put too much weight into my theorycrafting here.

In fact, a three-way Trump/Rubio/Cruz race results in a 29%/30%/27% respectively, with 14% remaining undecided!

Additionally, things look very poor for Cruz in a three-way or two-way matchup.

In a Trump/Rubio/Cruz race, Cruz comes in last (40%/28%/20%), with 10% of voters remaining undecided.

In a Trump/Cruz race, Cruz comes in last (48%/38%), with 14% of voters remaining undecided.

In a Rubio/Cruz race, Cruz comes in last (47%/37%), with 17% of voters remaining undecided.

However, there is some good news for the “Anyone but Trump voters”:

In a Trump/Rubio race, they are virtually tied (46%/45%), with 9% of voters remaining undecided.

My final thoughts are:

1) Cruz has some serious unfavorability problems. He needs to identify why and fix them quickly if he has any chance of winning.

2) Currently, as long as Cruz stays in the race, Trump wins.

3) The only scenario where Trump is in danger is a two-man race between him and Rubio.

4) Kasich or Jeb dropping out helps Rubio immensely, where Carson dropping out doesn’t seem to help anyone in particular, but could potentially help Rubio the most depending on how the undecideds swing.

5) If anyone disregards this poll while we had an entire front page post on a rumored internal poll that showed Cruz doing good, you might not be taking an objective look at the situation.

Alright, let the fighting please commence in the comments!