Keep in mind, Ted Cruz is mainstream in the Republican base. According to the latest national survey conducted for Democracy Corps and Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund, which fielded just last week, Ted Cruz is right at the center of a Republican Party that is majority Tea Party and Evangelical. Combined, these groups make up over half of Republican partisans, and comprise over 60 percent of the GOP when you include the religious observants.
Cruz is immensely popular with Tea Party adherents. Among this group, 75 percent give him a positive rating and half give him an intensely positive rating (over 75 on our 100-point scale.) His average rating among this group is a stunning 81.8 out of 100. While he is less well known among Evangelical Republicans, he is no less popular among those who identify him—40 percent give him a positive rating, a third are intensely favorable toward him. On average, Evangelicals give Cruz a rating of 75.9 out of 100.
By contrast, moderate Republicans, who make up just a quarter of the Republican Party, are split evenly—16 percent unfavorable, 18 percent favorable. His average rating among Moderates is just 51.0. And among all voters in the US, he has a quite negative rating and is known to about half the electorate. Just 18 percent of all voters give Cruz a favorable rating—and an average rating of just 39.7.
But even as pundits label Cruz as “fringe,” it is critical to remember that this is only true when talking about the national electorate. In his own party, there is nothing “fringe” about Ted Cruz. He is right at the center.