Poll: Cruz leads GOP primary field

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) now leads the Republican presidential primary field, surging in a poll taken shortly after his 21-hour speech given to protest ObamaCare.

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According to the survey, conducted by Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling, Cruz takes 20 percent support among Republican primary voters to former front-runner Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) 17 percent.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) takes 14 percent support, while former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) gets 11 percent support. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) both take 10 percent, and the rest of the field gets single-digit support.

It's a surge of 9 percentage points for Cruz since the last PPP survey of the GOP presidential field, conducted in July.

The survey was conducted Sept. 25-26, shortly after Cruz finished a nearly daylong speech on the Senate floor to protest Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) plans to reinstate funding for ObamaCare to a House-passed bill that eliminated it.

The speech was not technically a filibuster, as it wasn't able to prevent the Senate from moving forward on the bill.

Many of Cruz's Republican colleagues criticized the move, and Reid called it "a big waste of time." But the survey indicates it drew a favorable response from Republicans nationwide.

In particular, "very conservative" primary voters favor Cruz, with more than a third breaking for him — twice as much as Paul's share of that vote. And very conservative voters make up the largest part of the GOP primary electorate, at 39 percent.

And Cruz is now seen as more credible than any other Republican leader tested. They see him as more trustworthy than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

The survey was conducted among 743 GOP primary voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.