Sen. Ted Cruz handily won the White House Dossier 2016 presidential primary poll, placing first with just over a quarter of the votes, at 26 percent, in a large field of potential candidates. Only two other possible candidates were even close, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who placed second with 17.5 percent and pediatric neurosurgeon surgeon Ben Carson, who garnered 14 percent of the votes.
The poll of WHD readers, who lean a little more to the right than the Republican Party at large, suggests Cruz’s luster continues to shine for conservatives almost exactly a year after he became a household name leading what was effectively a filibuster against Obamacare. Cruz received 694 of the 2,675 votes cast, about 50 percent more than his nearest rival, Romney.
Romney’s showing, though, suggests he has a clear chance to galvanize conservatives should he decide to step into the race again. And Carson continues to ride the wave he started when he offered up a seminar on conservative thought to President Obama during the National Prayer Breakfast in February 2013.
Fourth in the voting was Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who received exactly 7 percent. Fifth was Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has been “rebranding” himself after his disastrous 2012 run. Perry received 6.36 percent of the vote.
Surprisingly, Perry and Walker beat out Sen. Rand Paul, who despite being touted as a darling of conservatives received only 4.75 percent of the vote. Even more surprising, perhaps, was the seventh place finish of Mike Huckabee, whose paltry 2.99 percent suggests that his popularity in Iowa – where a CNN poll last week showed him leading by a large margin – may be more limited than analysts think.
Conservative stars Sen. Marco Rubio, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and Rep. Paul Ryan all received between two and three percent. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, both moderates, got 1.83 percent and 1.35 percent respectively. Rick Santorum was last with only 9 votes, a 0.34 percent share.
Only five percent said they had not made up there minds.
Some 85 percent of WHD readers describe themselves as “conservative,” or “very conservative,” with 57 percent applying the former category to themselves and 27.5 percent choosing the latter. Eleven percent said they were “moderate,” while less than one percent chose “liberal” or “very liberal.” About one percent wrote in that they are “libertarian.”
Polling of the general population puts the number of moderates in the GOP at about 23 percent, with another five percent or so saying they are “liberal.”
While the WHD poll gives a good indication of what conservatives are thinking at this point in the process, it is not a “scientific” poll, to the extent there is such a thing. Readers were asked to vote online over a 24 hour period, as opposed to being polled randomly. The poll began about midday September 17 and ended at noon September 18.
You can see the tabulated results here.