Post-convention poll: Plurality approve of Cruz's decision not to endorse Trump

Been waiting all day for Echelon Insights to release its data on this but I don’t know if it’s happening this afternoon, so we’ll have to make do with the newsy topline number for now. I’ll update below if/when the crosstabs are out.

Echelon is run by two smart young righties, Kristen Soltis Anderson and Patrick Ruffini, but it’s worth noting that they’re both anti-Trump. On the other hand, is this number really a surprise?

If that were a poll of Republican voters, it’d be big news as it would mean the booing in the hall was grossly out of sync with wider party sentiment. But it’s not. It’s a poll of voters generally. Go figure that a lot of Democrats would high-five over Cruz’s “vote your conscience” appeal knowing that it meant, at a minimum, a messy convention for Trump with terrible optics about party unity and a useful soundbite for Democratic attack ads this fall. Anything that embarrasses Trump will appeal to anti-Trumpers of all political stripes, and there are a lot of anti-Trumpers out there judging by his chronic 60+ percent unfavorable rating.

You could argue, in fact, that the margin here is ominously narrow for Cruz. If we safely assume that the majority of all voters who disapproved of Cruz’s non-endorsement were Republican, then there must be a strong majority within the Republican Party itself (we can’t know how strong without the sample) against Cruz on this in order to push the overall disapproval numbers to 32 percent. Some of those disapprovers will forgive him in time. Some of those more loyal to Trump won’t. Having a majority of your party giving you thumbs down on the most famous moment of your political career is … not an obvious path to being nominated for president yourself. Cruz will need to pick a lot of fights with lefties over the next few years to rebuild tribal goodwill. And out of pure self-interest, he needs to hope that Trump will so embarrass the party at some point that Cruz’s resistance in Cleveland will come to be seen as brave and far-seeing rather than treacherous. The GOP has been immune to embarrassment so far. I can’t imagine what Trump could do at this point to shame them.

One more number from Echelon to share. Again, this is a post-convention poll presumably taken overnight and this morning after Trump’s speech:

He’s in the low 40s, as usual. There may be a bounce coming but it’s not here yet. Also as usual, it’s Hillary’s numbers that suffer more once you offer people an option besides the binary Clinton/Trump choice. You can see that glass as half-full or half-empty. A critical amount of her support is very soft (Hillary actually loses more Democrats than Trump loses Republicans), but when you force voters into a “her or Trump” box, her soft support firms up. If the four-way race is as tight on November 7th as it is here, Hillary-skeptic lefties will be under intense pressure not to mess around with Johnson or Stein and to come home to the Democrats. That’s the story of nearly all of the pre-convention polling since May — Hillary’s showed far more potential to get into the high 40s or low 50s than Trump has, but she hasn’t been able to maintain that level of support. People keep being reminded that she’s an avatar of everything they dislike about the political establishment, crooked, connected, and underwhelming. Maybe her convention will help fix her problem for her. My hunch is that, compared to more impressive pols like Obama who’ll precede her onstage, it’ll just remind everyone of how dismal she is.

Exit question per the first tweet above: One a third of voters see the GOP as more unified now than it was before the convention? Smart thinkin’ orchestrating that media-ready Two Minutes Hate against Cruz, Paul Manafort.