Main Menu

Republicans not very worried about Cruz eligibility

A Fox News telephone poll of registered voters conducted January 18-21 found that Cruz’ Canadian birthplace wasn’t much of a factor. To the question:

imageTed Cruz was born to an American citizen mother, while the family was temporarily working and living in Canada.15. [ASK GOP PRIMARY VOTERS, N=405] Does this make you less likely to vote for him as the Republican nominee?

10% said yes and 88% said no. Now what got me is the next question:

The U.S. Constitution requires that the president be a natural-born citizen.  Knowing this, do you think Ted Cruz is eligible to be president of the United States, or not?

To this 61% said yes, 27% said no, and 11% didn’t know. That says that 17% of Republican voters who think he is ineligible say it doesn’t make them less likely to vote for him.

I note that there is a huge ambiguity in the first question. A voter might think that they wouldn’t vote for Ted Cruz under any circumstances, and hence nothing that could be said would make their vote for him less likely. I wonder if they made that question ambiguous intentionally. And is the respondent supposed to think that the word “temporarily” has legal significance?

Detail results here.

,

19 Responses to Republicans not very worried about Cruz eligibility

  1. avatar
    Rickey January 23, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

    The questions also don’t specifically mention that Cruz was born in Canada. Why the pollsters didn’t make that clear, as in “Ted Cruz was born in Canada to an American citizen mother, while the family was temporarily working and living in Canada,” is what I would like to know.

    An uninformed voter might presume that Cruz was born in the United States while his family was living and working in Canada.

    It’s difficult to draw conclusions from poorly worded poll questions.

  2. avatar
    Notorial Dissent January 23, 2016 at 10:47 pm #

    Oh come on Rickey, first rule of taking a poll or survey, don’t ask a question you don’t want answers to and don’t give out information that will skew it away from where you want it to go.

  3. avatar
    Rickey January 24, 2016 at 3:44 am #

    Notorial Dissent:
    Oh come on Rickey, first rule of taking a poll or survey, don’t ask a question you don’t want answers to and don’t give out information that will skew it away from where you want it to go.

    There is that!

  4. avatar
    Scientist January 24, 2016 at 8:21 am #

    Some may remember that I spent some time here looking for the mythical “pro-Obama birther”, that person who liked the President and supported most of his policies, but believed him ineligible. I was completely unsuccessful in my quest, leading me to conclude that while such creatures might be imagined to exist, their prevalence in nature must be very rare.

    Now we must ask whether there are “Pro-Cruz birthers”, those who support and like Ted Cruz, but believe him ineligible. I don’t think this poll has enough information to conclude either way, but my gut instinct suggests there are some out there, at a considerably higher frequency than the pro-Obama subspecies of birther.

    Maybe another poll will be designed to give a better read on that.

  5. avatar
    sactosintolerant January 24, 2016 at 1:05 pm #

    Don’t forget Farah’s excuse:

    http://www.wnd.com/2014/01/meet-the-new-birthers/

  6. avatar
    jdkinpa January 25, 2016 at 12:06 am #

    Now we must ask whether there are “Pro-Cruz birthers”, those who support and like Ted Cruz, but believe him ineligible.

    Well, there is this guy.

    Patriot41 • 2 years ago

    Well I do care about preserving our Constitution, whether the progressives like it or not. They would absolutely love for others to say, “I don’t care”, so that they could completely do away with a Constitution that has served this Republic well, for over two hundred years. If that happens, we have nothing to protect either our Republic or our citizens.

    I think Ted Cruz is a great citizen and a very capable young man, who would do well for our country, no matter what office he holds. However the fact remains, that he is not a natural born citizen of this country. That does not make him less of a man, it just means that he is ineligible to run for either the presidency or the VP office, in our form of government.

    Two wrongs have never made a right, that I know of. Obama was never eligible to run for the presidency and because that fact was overlooked, our nation and our Constitution suffers on a daily basis. We should have learned our lesson by now.

    There was a very good reason for the natural born citizen clause in our Constitution. It was a measure to protect this nation from a president or vice president, whose loyalty may be subjected to the will of another nation. It was a wise measure and requirement, necessary to protect the citizens and this nation. We should adhere and protect that requirement for our own good.

    http://www.wnd.com/2014/01/meet-the-new-birthers/

  7. avatar
    RanTalbott January 25, 2016 at 3:18 am #

    Rickey:

    An uninformed voter might presume that Cruz was born in the United States while his family was living and working in Canada.

    Such a voter would need to be “uninformed” about the mechanics of birth. Or, perhaps, be willing to “presume” birth in an unusual medical facility with a border-spanning cantilevered birthing chair or water slide. 😉

  8. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) January 25, 2016 at 4:26 am #

    I wonder if they made that question ambiguous intentionally. And is the respondent supposed to think that the word “temporarily” has legal significance?

    Market research is a science which is why experienced researchers make lots of money. We have a department for market research, and our head of MR said they would never frame questions this way. If anything, you go from the simplest premise (“Ted Cruz was born in Canada. Does that make you less likely to vote for him?”) to the more complex ones framed as follow-ups (“If you consider his family was only temporarily residing in Canada, does that change your answer to the previous question?”).
    Otherwise the results are too ambiguous because you never know which of the 2 or 3 key facts (“born in Canada”, “temporarily residing”, “American mother”) had any importance in the decision.

    Since I don’t think FoxNews lets its interns run the MR dept., I can only conclude the question was framed this way intentionally.

    Still 10% is quite a lot, even if that was only among registered Republicans; smaller numbers have tipped elections the other way.

  9. avatar
    Reality Check January 25, 2016 at 7:12 am #

    I think that the most important point to be had from this poll is that the answers to “Birther” polls depend almost entirely on whether the people being polled are on the same or the other side of the political spectrum as the subject of the poll. I believe polls showing at times 70% of the Republicans leaned Birther when asked about Obama were essentially worthless. The fact that the same Republics don’t seem to care about Cruz’s eligibility supports my conclusions.

  10. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 25, 2016 at 7:18 pm #

    Salon.com seems to have almost as many Ted Cruz eligibility stories as I do. The latest: “Let’s make an honest man of Ted Cruz. Here’s now we resolve his “birther” dilemma with integrity.”

    If there is anything in that article on how to resolve the question, I didn’t find it, except at the end where it suggests Cruz drop out of the race or stop claiming to be an originalist.

  11. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 25, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

    I left some comments at Salon, including this:

    I have some skepticism about the argument that Congress can’t create natural born citizens because they are limited by the Constitution whereas the British Parliament is not. Exactly where in the Constitution is Congress prohibited from creating natural born citizens? There’s no definition whatever of the term in the Constitution. Courts have had to resort to various schemes to tease out a meaning for the term, and the most authoritative decisions all fall back on the English Common Law and institutions. To claim that the definition that “natural born citizen” has some immutable definition, flies in the face the legal system it comes from.

  12. avatar
    Scientist January 25, 2016 at 8:30 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Exactly where in the Constitution is Congress prohibited from creating natural born citizens?

    There is no specific prohibition, but the only power given to Congress in the area of citizenship is naturalization. Parliament can change the terms on which someone born in the UK acquires citizenship-it is no longer automatic, but rather, requires that one parent at least be a legal resident. I believe you have argued that Congress could not do that, as it would violate the 14th Amendment, a position I agree with.

    Dr. Conspiracy: To claim that the definition that “natural born citizen” has some immutable definition, flies in the face the legal system it comes from.

    I agree. To be exact, we don’t really know the intended meaning in 1791 with any certainty (hence the discussion here, which has not really agreed upon any conclusion). Given the uncertainty, my position, which I believe to be sensible, is that there has to be a presumption in one direction or the other, as there is in any legal dispute and the presumption should be in favor of democracy-that is, unless you are highly confident that someone is ineligible, they are eligible and the voters can decide.

    PS-I would bet strongly that Cruz will not be the nominee and wouldn’t have been even had he been born in Houston. Trump will be unless the party poo-bahs can unite behind someone and they hate Cruz too much for that to be him.

  13. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 25, 2016 at 11:21 pm #

    More Cruz eligibility stories:

    CBS News
    ​Scott Simon: Do away with “natural born citizen” clause
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/scott-simon-do-away-with-natural-born-citizen-clause/

    Newsworks.org
    Is Ted Cruz a ‘natural born citizen’? I don’t care, and neither should you

    http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/essayworks/90300-is-ted-cruz-a-natural-born-citizen-i-dont-care-and-neither-should-you

    Don’t be a Ted Cruz birther: Liberals should reject the xenophobia behind “natural born” citizenship
    http://www.salon.com/2016/01/24/dont_be_a_ted_cruz_birther_liberals_should_reject_the_ugly_xenophobia_behind_natural_born_citizenship/

    Lawyer Herald
    Donald Trump mulls lawsuit over Ted Cruz citizenship
    http://www.lawyerherald.com/articles/29089/20160125/donald-trump-mulls-lawsuit-over-ted-cruz-canadian-citizenship-republican-victory.htm

    A FEW CHOICE WORDS FOR MARK LEVIN AND NATIONAL REVIEW’S ELMER GANTRY’S
    http://www.newswithviews.com/Devvy/kidd706.htm

  14. avatar
    Dave B. January 25, 2016 at 11:56 pm #

    Republicans not worried aboot Cruz eligibility? Well maybe they SHOULD be:
    http://www.freewoodpost.com/2016/01/25/ted-cruz-overheard-humming-canadian-national-anthem-in-mens-room-of-iowa-deli/
    Cue ominous, minor-key version of “Oh Canada.”

  15. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 26, 2016 at 12:18 am #

    Sounds a little to good to be true.

    I used to listen to Radio Canada International on shortwave when I was a kid. I can still remember that interval signal bell chiming the first 4 notes of Oh Canada! At least it’s not to the tune of a drinking song like ours.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Anacreon_in_Heaven

    Dave B.: Republicans not worried aboot Cruz eligibility? Well maybe they SHOULD be:

  16. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 26, 2016 at 12:32 am #

    “The presumption always is, that a person chosen to an office is qualified to fill it, and it is never incumbent upon him to prove his eligibility. The certificate of election does not add to this presumption, but simply leaves it where the law places it, and he who denies the eligibility of a person who is certified to be elected, must take the burthen of proving that he is not eligible.

    –George W. McCrary
    A Treatise on the American Law of Elections

    Scientist: Given the uncertainty, my position, which I believe to be sensible, is that there has to be a presumption in one direction or the other, as there is in any legal dispute and the presumption should be in favor of democracy-that is, unless you are highly confident that someone is ineligible, they are eligible and the voters can decide.

  17. avatar
    gorefan January 26, 2016 at 10:53 am #

    Another point of view.

    http://www.law.com/sites/articles/2016/01/25/op-ed-ted-cruz-fit-for-office-at-least-under-the-constitution/?slreturn=20160026103638#ixzz3yMghTvBj

    “For those of us who are not originalists, it is an even easier case: The democracy canon should rule the day and Cruz should be deemed eligible to serve as president.”

  18. avatar
    J.D. Reed January 26, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    Scientist: There is no specific prohibition, but the only power given to Congress in the area of citizenship is naturalization.Parliament can change the terms on which someone born in the UK acquires citizenship-it is no longer automatic, but rather, requires that one parent at least be a legal resident.I believe you have argued that Congress could not do that, as it would violate the 14th Amendment, a position I agree with.

    I agree.To be exact, we don’t really know the intended meaning in 1791 with any certainty (hence the discussion here, which has not really agreed upon any conclusion).Given the uncertainty, my position, which I believe to be sensible, is that there has to be a presumption in one direction or the other, as there is in any legal dispute and the presumption should be in favor of democracy-that is, unless you are highly confident that someone is ineligible, they are eligible and the voters can decide.

    PS-I would bet strongly that Cruz will not be the nominee and wouldn’t have been even had he been born in Houston.Trump will be unless the party poo-bahs can unite behind someone and they hate Cruz too much for that to be him.

    Scientist:
    Agreed.
    Because the very earliest Congress, whose membership included more Constitutional Convention delegates than any subsequent Congress, obviously believed that it had the authority to designate classes of natural born citizens.
    The Supreme Court in 1884 (Burrows-Giles Lithographic Company v. Saxony) declared:
    “The construction placed upon the Constitution by the first (copyright) act of 1790 and the act of 1802, by the men who were contemporary with its formation, many of whom were members of the convention which framed it, is of itself entitled to very great weight, and when it is remembered that the rights thus established have not been disputed during a period of nearly a century, it is almost conclusive.”
    The first sentence of the 14th Amendment does not include children born abroad to at least one citizen parent, but it doesn’t specifically exclude them from natural born citizenship, either.
    Other court decisions and laws may be contradictory – but if, taken as a whole, case law and statutory law do not absolutely settle the matter, then it seems to me that the right thing to do is to fall back on the original purpose of the natural born citizen provision of the constitution.
    In doing so, I believe the reasonable conclusion is that the Founding Fathers wanted to guard against the possibility that a foreigner, lacking any connection to the United States at birth or for years thereafter, might come to the United States and intrigue/bribe his way into the presidency.
    Someone who spent his first four years of life in a foreign country in the household of one U.S. citizen and a noncitizen who had previously lived several years in the U.S., doesn’t fit.
    So tie goes to the runner.
    I believe here is an apt analogy:
    “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” – Mark 2:27.
    What Jesus is saying here is that the Old Testament law concerning the keeping of the Sabbath was meant for man’s benefit, and not just a rule to be religiously followed in all cases totally disconnected to any benefit.
    In my view ample reasons exist for rejecting Ted Cruz.
    Birtherism just isn’t one of them.

  19. avatar
    Scientist January 26, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: The presumption always is, that a person chosen to an office is qualified to fill it, and it is never incumbent upon him to prove his eligibility.

    gorefan: The democracy canon should rule the day and Cruz should be deemed eligible to serve as president.”

    J.D. Reed: So tie goes to the runner.

    It seems we have a consensus. Given the fact that the meaning of the NBC clause wasn’t debated or expounded upon at the Constitutional Convention or in the ratification debates in the states, we are left trying to read the minds of people who have been dead for 200 years. I simply don’t see how that could be done with sufficient confidence to overcome the presumption of eligibility that a democracy requires.

    Anyone who wishes can try further arguments, but the odds of success are very low, because the Framers remain dead and we can only guess their intent, Frankly, I don’t think SCOTUS is any better at communicating with the deceased than any of us are, so their opinion would be a guess, just like ours. Maybe the Long Island Medium can take a crack at it. Besides, Cruz clerked at SCOTUS during a period when many of the current members were there, so several Justices might have to recuse themselves on the basis of knowing him personally.

    So, now that all birtherism, whether Obama, Cruz or anyone else is proven futile because it cannot pass the bar of the presumption of eligibility, what do we talk about?