76% of GOP now 'conservative,' pick Cruz for 2016 nomination

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Republican Party,Harry Reid,Polls,2016 Elections,Ted Cruz,Chris Christie,John McCain

This won’t surprise Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid or GOP old bull Sen. John McCain -- the largest chunk of the Republican Party is now very conservative.

According to a new PPP poll, which has Sen. Ted Cruz the top choice for the 2016 Republican nomination, those who describe themselves as “very conservative” make up 39 percent of the splintered party. Add in those who consider themselves “somewhat conservative,” and the right-leaning voters comprise 76 percent of the party.

In the new poll of 743 Republican primary voters, 1 percent called themselves “very liberal,” 4 percent “somewhat liberal,” and just 18 percent as “moderate.”

Among the conservative voters, Cruz is the leading choice for the GOP nomination. He won 34 percent of that group. But he also shows remarkable crossover as 32 percent of the “very liberal” crowd also prefer him.

His likely rival, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, wins just 4 percent of the “very conservative crowd” and 38 percent of the “very liberal” group.

The overall results of the presidential preference poll:

-- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz: 20 percent.

-- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul: 17 percent.

-- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: 14 percent.

-- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: 11 percent.

-- Florida Sen. Marco Rubio: 10 percent.

-- Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan: 10 percent.

-- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal: 4 percent.

-- Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum: 3 percent.

-- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker: 3 percent.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.