Ted Cruz leads 2016 Republican field in Texas

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) leads the field of potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates in Texas, according to a new poll out of the state from Public Policy Polling.

Though 2016 is a long way off, many polling firms are already gaging the Republican base in primary states to get an idea of which way the wind is blowing in what is sure to be a hotly contested race.

“Senator Ted Cruz is the preferred choice for Republicans in his home state, taking in 27% of the primary vote,” noted Public Policy Polling, a North Carolina-based firm. “Jeb Bush finished second with 15%, and Chris Christie and Rand Paul both finished with 11%. Rick Perry’s presidential aspirations appear to be dead in the Lone Star State, as only 18% of Texas Republicans wish for him to run.”

Ever potential Republican presidential candidate polled, with the exception of Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), leads Hillary Clinton, who is viewed as the Democratic Party’s frontrunning in 2016. Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) holds a 47/38 lead over Clinton. Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) leads Clinton by a slim margin, 46/43. Cruz holds a 5-point lead, at a 49/44, over Clinton.

The poll also found Cruz and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) holding positive favorability ratings, but both are under 50%. “Though both Republican Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz are barely eking out net favorable ratings (36/33 for Cornyn and 42/36 for Cruz), Democratic bids for the Senate would still be major long shots,” explained the firm. “Cornyn holds at least a 7% lead over all potential 2014 challengers, including former Houston Mayor Bill White (47/40), State Senator Wendy Davis (48/40), Mayor of San Antonio Julian Castro (50/37), and Mayor of Houston Annise Parker (49/36).”

Cornyn is up for re-election in 2014. Cruz, who was just elected last year, isn’t up for re-election until 2018.

In May, Robert Costa of the National Review reported that Cruz is interested in a bid for the Republican nomination in 2016. Because of his popularity with the grassroots and ability to debate, some conservatives believe he would be a formidable candidate. Separate polls out of Iowa and New Hampshire earlier this year showed Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) leading the field.

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