Many Ted Cruz supporters on this website indicate that they would support Marco Rubio as their second choice. Therefore, the thinking goes a Cruz departure would help Rubio.
But what do the polls say?
Unfortunately, the most recent scientific poll (NBC did an online poll last week on this topic but was not scientific) was from early January. What do these polls indicate?
Among Cruz supporters, 30% would move to Trump and only 21% would move to Rubio (22% would move to Carson). Therefore, if this poll is accurate, Cruz withdrawing would help Donald Trump–not hurt him.
And this poll was done before Rubio called Ted Cruz a liar and lied about Cruz’s record. Both actions might cause more Cruz supporters to move to Trump.
What about Rubio supporters?
Among Rubio supporters, 28% of Rubio supporters would move to Cruz while only 9% would back Trump. Therefore, if this poll is accurate, Rubio’s departure would severely hurt Trump.
What about Trump supporters? If Trump were to leave the race, 39% would move to Cruz, while only 14% to Rubio.
What these results indicate is that a significant plurality of Ted Cruz voters might move to Trump actually making Rubio less electable. Trump and Cruz share their support for controlling the border and not granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, and both have spoken about fighting the corruption among the establishment.
Regardless the reasons, according to this poll, Trump is in a better positon today with Rubio still in the fight than if Rubio had been knocked out and facing Cruz alone. This poll indicates, Trump voters do not appear to be interested in Marco Rubio, but might be willing to consider Cruz. In fact, Ted Cruz was the second choice of 22% of all Republican voters, Trump the second choice of 14% and Rubio the second choice of 13%.
Cruz’s departure would only help Trump, but if Cruz leaves, Trump gains big.
Donald Trump is very happy that Rubio is still in the race.