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Election 2016
Cruz's Image Among Republicans Tanks After GOP Convention
Election 2016

Cruz's Image Among Republicans Tanks After GOP Convention

Chart: data points are described in article

Story Highlights

  • Cruz's favorable rating among Republicans at 43%, down from 59%
  • Fifty percent of Republicans view Cruz unfavorably
  • Among U.S. adults, 29% see him favorably, 58% unfavorably

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Republicans' views of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz have gotten significantly worse since he refused to endorse Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention, with his favorable rating falling from 59% to 43%. Now more Republicans have an unfavorable opinion of Cruz than a favorable one, reverting to the pattern seen when he suspended his presidential campaign in early May. His image had recovered in the months leading up to the convention.


In late April and early May, slightly more Republicans had a negative view of him (45%) than a positive one (42%). With Trump's nomination looking more assured at the time, Cruz and Trump exchanged a flurry of personal insults. Cruz also attempted to jump-start his faltering campaign before the critical May 3 Indiana primary by making the unusual move of announcing Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate.

Once Cruz ended his campaign after losing in Indiana, Republicans' feelings toward him quickly improved. He entered the convention with nearly twice as many Republicans rating him positively as negatively. His pre-convention 59% favorable rating among Republicans nearly tied his personal high of 61% from early January.

Cruz secured a prime-time speaking slot at the GOP convention, but he was roundly booed when he did not formally endorse Trump. That move rankled many Republican Party officials and, it appears based on the Aug. 3-7 Gallup poll, also many Republican Party supporters nationwide. His favorable ratings have dropped by similar amounts among both conservative Republicans and liberal/moderate Republicans.

Notably, Cruz's highly negative image among Democrats and Democratic leaners has changed little. Prior to the GOP convention, Democrats' opinions of Cruz were 19% favorable and 67% unfavorable; after, they were 21% favorable and 67% unfavorable.

Republicans' more negative opinions of Cruz have driven his favorable rating among all Americans down to 29% from 36% in mid-July. His unfavorable rating is up to 58% from 49%.


For most of 2015, Americans viewed Cruz slightly more negatively than positively. In late December and January, after several televised Republican debates but before voting in primaries and caucuses began, Americans' views were nearly evenly split. But as the campaign wore on and he became better known, negative opinions greatly outnumbered positive ones. Now, his unfavorable rating among all Americans is twice as high as his favorable rating.

Sanders, Ryan, Other Convention Speakers' Favorable Ratings Little Changed

Gallup tested Americans' views of several notable speakers before and after the Democratic and Republican conventions, including Republicans Cruz and Paul Ryan and Democrats Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Michelle Obama. None of these speakers saw much improvement in their images apart from Michelle Obama. This includes Sanders, Cruz's Democratic counterpart as the nomination runner-up. Unlike Cruz, Sanders formally endorsed his party's presidential nominee during the convention, and his already majority favorable rating edged up to 56%, a new high for him.

Only Cruz saw a significant drop in his favorable rating after the two political conventions.

Opinions of Convention Speakers Before and After 2016 Political Conventions
% Favorable
  Before After Change
  % % pct. pts.
Ted Cruz 36 29 -7
Paul Ryan 44 44 0
Barack Obama 51 54 +3
Bill Clinton 49 49 0
Bernie Sanders 53 56 +3
Michelle Obama 58 64 +6
July 13-17, 2016 and Aug. 3-7, 2016 Gallup polls

Presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Trump both saw slight increases in their favorable ratings after their respective conventions, but both of these upticks have faded, and opinions of the nominees are essentially the same as they were in mid-July.


Should Cruz decide to mount another run for president in 2020, he has a lot of work to do to repair his image. Twice as many Americans view him negatively as positively, and his own party's supporters view him unfavorably on balance. Notably, Americans' opinions of Cruz right now are very similar to those of his formal rival, Trump. However, despite tepid support for Trump's nomination, at no point have Republicans viewed Trump more negatively than positively.

In fact, in Gallup's available polling on presidential nomination candidates, it has been extremely rare for a major nomination contender to be viewed more negatively than positively by his or her own party. Cruz's image among his party's supporters was net-negative near the end of his campaign, and is again now as a former candidate.

Cruz's future in presidential politics may depend on Americans, especially Republicans, having short memories or being able to forgive him for anything he has done to cause them to view him negatively. That appeared to be the case for Republicans in the two months after Cruz ended his 2016 presidential bid, but any goodwill he recovered has been lost.

Historical data are available in Gallup Analytics.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Aug. 3-7, 2016, with a random sample of 1,032 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

For results based on the total sample of 469 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, the margin of sampling error is ±6 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 60% cellphone respondents and 40% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

View complete question responses and trends.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

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