It's now very clear Ted Cruz is very popular among the those who frequent the Family Research Council's 2013 Values Voter Summit: he won the straw poll measuring early presidential candidates by more than 200 votes. Cruz tallied an astonishing 317 votes from the ultra conservative crowd. The next five candidates who came after Cruz -- Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Rick Santorum, Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Marco Rubio and Congressman Paul Ryan, respectively -- only had 319 votes between them.
That's a pretty great way for the Republican lightning rod to close out the conference after his speech was interrupted by immigration reform protestors. CBN News is calling Cruz the "rock star," and Family Research Council chief Tony Perkins appointed him as the Tea Party's next big thing:
"The Values Voter straw poll reveals what conservative, Republican-leaning voters are looking for in a potential candidate. Values voters are looking for those who will refuse to be bound by the 'can't mentality' of the establishment and will challenge the status quo. In short, values voters, many of whom did not fully engage in the last election, are looking for a leader that will inspire them by challenging President Obama and speak clearly and directly to the challenges facing America."
Not everyone loves Ted Cruz. The Tea Party loves Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz loves Ted Cruz. But a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll says only 14 percent of Americans view Cruz favorably right now. Within that 14%, though, he's quite popular.