It is a common theme in the media that the GOP has been hijacked by a group of extremists. Under this theory Ted Cruz is one of the fringe people who is attempting to take over the party from its sensible majority. They say in reality the GOP is much more sensible and what we are seeing from people like Cruz is an illusion.
This is certainly the line of thinking from people like Joe Scarborough and Chris Matthews.
But is that really true? Is Cruz a figure on the fringe? What does it say if he is not?
New polling from Democracy Corps suggests Cruz is actually in line with the GOP majority. They find Tea Party and evangelical segments give Cruz positive ratings of 81.8 and 75.9. In contrast Cruz only has a 51% rating from moderates. The important fact is that Tea Partiers and Evangelicals make up over half the GOP while moderates make up only a quarter.
So while Cruz may not be winning any friends on MSNBC he is in a good place for the GOP primary electorate. Keep in mind that outside of New Hampshire there is not a sizable moderate electorate in the early states.
If these poll numbers are correct it may turnout Cruz knows exactly who the GOP is and the commentators who are seeing something that isn’t there.