After Trump’s landslide victories in five primary contests last week, Ted Cruz has made headlines for his campaign’s efforts to stop the Republican front-runner on his reenergized path to 1,237 delegates. Cruz’s recent alliance with John Kasich, as well as his announcement of his vice presidential pick Carly Fiorina last week, indicate that Cruz is working every angle to stop Trump, though the public support for these moves among Republicans is tepid at best.
These calculated efforts are largely viewed as such by the Republican Party, according to the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking poll conducted online from April 25 through May 1 of 14,640 adults including 12,462 registered voters.
In regard to the strategic alliance between Cruz and Kasich to limit each’s campaigns in particular states in order to deny Trump the nomination, including Indiana, where Kasich has limited his campaign activity, 70 percent of Republican and Republican-leaners are either uncomfortable or angry with the deal.
In regard to Cruz’s announcement of Carly Fiorina as his running mate, about eight in 10 Republicans and Republican-leaners think Cruz’s choice was a strategic move to revitalize his campaign. Just 16 percent think this selection was because she is the best candidate for vice president. Even among Cruz’s supporters, a 55 percent majority think he selected Fiorina as his vice presidential pick in order to revitalize his campaign.
After Trump’s controversial comments about Hillary Clinton playing the “woman card” last week, there is speculation among many Republicans that Cruz picked Fiorina because of Trump’s potential problems with women voters and as a move to combat a likely Clinton ticket in the general election. A strong plurality of Republicans — 45 percent — think Cruz selected Fiorina because of her gender. Just 15 percent said the pick was because of her business experience, and 14 percent think he selected her because of her views on the issues.
Though Cruz continues to make the case that he and Fiorina would be the best Republican ticket in the general election this November, most Republicans — even Cruz supporters — perceive his selection as an effort to revitalize his campaign and these certainly did not help Cruz in the overall horserace number where Trump leads 56 percent to Cruz’s 22 percent.
The NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking poll was conducted online April 25 through May 1, 2016 among a national sample of 14,640 adults aged 18 and over, including 12,462 who say they are registered to vote. Respondents for this non-probability survey were selected from the nearly three million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Results have an error estimate of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points. For full results and methodology for this weekly tracking poll, please click here.