Election 2020

Is Ted Cruz Finished?

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during the Republican presidential debate sponsored by CNN, Salem Media Group and the Washington Times at the University of Miami, Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Coral Gables, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Political suicide is a terrible thing to witness. But that’s what Texas Senator Ted Cruz might have done with his disastrous speech at the GOP convention last month:

A new poll suggests there is at least one fellow Republican who could unseat U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018: Rick Perry.

The former Texas governor would beat Cruz by 9 percentage points, according to the forthcoming survey from the Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling. Set to be released later today, the poll found Perry would get 46 percent of the vote and Cruz 37 percent, with 18 percent saying they are not sure whom they would support.

Perry is the only challenger that PPP tested who would defeat Cruz. The poll indicates he would trounce two other Republicans talked about as potential opponents, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick by 22 points and U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul by 32 points. He would also beat two Democrats, U.S. Housing Secretary Julián Castro and former gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, both by 12 points.

In general, the poll shows Texas Republicans want Cruz to be their candidate for Senate again in 2018 — but not overwhelmingly. Fifty percent said they would like Cruz to be the nominee, while 43 percent said would like someone else to carry the banner.

Hardly surprising. Cruz didn’t win many friends during this past primary season, and may well have made himself some unnecessary enemies instead.

There is much to admire about the Texas senator and his professed fidelity to the Constitution, but whether he has the personality or temperament to run for national office is yet to be determined.

The discussion about Cruz’s 2018 prospects comes as his popularity at home continues to take a hit following his unsuccessful presidential campaign. Thirty-nine percent of likely voters told PPP they approve of the job Cruz is doing, while 48 percent said they do not and 13 percent were unsure.

Furthermore, a majority of Texas Republicans said they did not prefer Cruz as their presidential nominee. Fifty-two percent expressed a preference for Donald Trump, who vanquished Cruz in the primaries, and 38 percent for Cruz. The junior senator from Texas won the state’s Republican presidential primary with 44 percent of the vote.

Cruz’s re-election campaign dismissed the poll as meaningless.

Well, okay, then!