Republican voters trust Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) more than they do some of their top party leaders, according to a survey released Friday by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.
Fifty-one percent said they trusted Cruz over House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), while just 20 percent trusted Boehner more. Similarly, 49 percent trusted Cruz over Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), compared to 13 percent who had more faith in McConnell.
Voters also trusted Cruz over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who has been one of the most vocal critics of Cruz's tactics. Fifty-two percent said they trusted Cruz more, while 31 percent favored McCain.
Tea party supporters have criticized Republican leadership for failing to support Cruz during his 21-hour speech against Obamacare. Conservative radio host Mark Levin said Monday that McConnell had "stabbed Cruz...in the back."
McConnell and Boehner, like their Democratic counterparts, are deeply unpopular, with McConnell viewed negatively even among Republicans. The tea party, however, is also a diminished force within the GOP -- according to Gallup, just 38 percent of Republicans now say they support it, down from 65 percent in 2010.
The new PPP poll also found that Republicans would support shutting down the government unless Obamacare is defunded, 64 percent to 20 percent. An ABC/Washington Post poll found similar results, while a CNBC poll found that Republicans as a whole wanted to avoid a shutdown, but tea party Republicans did not.
The PPP poll surveyed 743 Republican primary voters on Sept. 25 and 26, using automated phone calls to landline phones.