Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) last week went on an ill-advised vacation to Cancún, Mexico, while millions of Texans suffered through dire conditions brought on by Winter Storm Uri, and his approval rating has taken a huge dip since his return.
From January to this week, comparing across polls, Cruz’s approval rating dropped about 23 percent among Republicans, and as much as 21 percent overall. His approval rating had already been dropping due to his involvement in the attack on the Capitol on January 6.
In January, Morning Consult found that Cruz had 45 percent approval among all voters and 44 percent disapproval, but in the wake of the Capitol breach, Cruz’s approval dropped 5 points among Republicans in Texas. Among Republicans overall, 76 percent approved of Cruz, while only 16 percent disapproved, according to last month’s poll.
A new YouGov/Yahoo! News poll of 1,552 people released Wednesday shows a precipitous drop in Cruz’s approval ratings since then. His approval rating across all parties was 24 percent, while his approval among Republicans dropped to a slim majority of 53 percent. Disapproval among Republicans also rose to 19 percent in the YouGov/Yahoo! News poll.
While, as of the Morning Consult poll, more people polled approved of him than disapproved, the YouGov/Yahoo! News poll shows that that has changed dramatically. While only 24 percent overall approve of his job performance, 49 percent now disapprove.
Another new poll by the Economist/YouGov released on Tuesday shows more tempered results. That poll shows Cruz’s approval rating is still low overall at 30 percent; among Republicans, it is at 60 percent. His disapproval among Republicans, however, rose by 10 percent, to 25 percent.
Between the periods of February 13 to 16 and February 19 to 22, when polls were conducted, the Economist/YouGov poll shows that his approval only dropped 4 percent overall and 8 percent among Republicans. News of Cruz’s trip broke on February 18, though the poll shows that many of the poll participants may not have heard of the trip at all.
Last week, Cruz was caught boarding a plane to Cancún during a week when millions of Texans suffered without power in record cold temperatures. Unrepentant, he booked a ticket back when the news began to circulate, went on a press circuit to cover up for the public relations disaster, and then said it was the media’s fault for publicizing the trip.
Aside from the political hot water that Cruz has landed himself in, he may also find himself in legal hot water. A new report from Salon has found that two days before the January 6 attack on the Capitol, one of Cruz’s leadership PACs paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to a company that has previously bought copies of Cruz’s book, according to Federal Election Commission filings. The payment had a vague label that legal experts say is unusual, and the filing could indicate that the company used the PAC money for promotional book sales, potentially giving him royalties. This would be illegal.