A new state poll released this afternoon shows, for the first time, a dramatic lead for Sen. Ted Cruz in next week’s critical Indiana primary.
Via The Hill:
The Texas senator leads the real estate mogul 45 percent to 29 percent among registered voters, according to a poll by the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich trails in third place, with 13 percent, and 13 percent are undecided.
“This is good news for Cruz, but the volatility of the electorate means all campaigns should view these results cautiously,” pollster Andrew Downs said in a statement.
In the past week, Kasich has said he won’t campaign in Indiana as part of an agreement with Cruz to stop Trump from winning enough delegates to clinch the nomination before the Republican National Convention in July.
The survey was conducted among 400 registered likely voters in Indiana April 13–27 and has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.
Of course, those of us following closely know this latest poll is just one of many — and suggests a dramatically different state of affairs than the other polls, which show Trump in the lead. The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Trump with a 5-point advantage over Cruz, though the next most recent before the Downs Center poll shows a statistical tie — with Trump leading by two, which is within the poll’s 4.75 point margin of error.
None of the polls to date, however, reflect the development of the past few days. Notably, Cruz named Carly Fiorina his running mate on Wednesday, while he received the endorsement of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence today.
And, whether a positive or a negative, Cruz was called “Lucifer in the flesh” by former Speaker of the House John Boehner.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump received the endorsement of legendary Indiana Hoosiers basketball coach Bobby Knight, along with some surprise words of support from so-called GOP “establishment” types, including former rival Sen. Marco Rubio.
All of which is to say, there are still many moving parts in this race, including voters’ openness to changing their minds at the last minute. As Indiana’s Tribune Star noted of the Downs Center poll:
“The Republican primary electorate remains relatively open to changing their vote with one-sixth of Cruz supporters, three in 10 Trump supporters and over 43 percent of Kasich supporters saying their preference for their candidate is not strong,” the center reported.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]