I'm thinking...no. Greg Sargent argues in fact that Trump may not even get 45%.
The basic case for nominating Ted Cruz rather than Donald Trump is that, while Cruz would arguably be the most right-wing nominee in modern American history, and would probably lose to Hillary Clinton, he would not unleash the sort of blood-dimmed tide of down-ticket destruction that Trump would.
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll lends some support to this view: It finds that Trump’s numbers are unspeakably awfulamong all the voter groups that Republican strategists had hoped to improve the party’s performance among in 2016. On the other hand, Cruz’s numbers aren’t that great among these groups either — they are certainly worse than John Kasich’s are.
First, Trump. Marvel at these findings: Trump is viewed unfavorably by 67 percent of Americans overall; 75 percent of women; 74 percent of young voters; 91 percent of African Americans; 81 percent of Latinos; 73 percent of college-educated whites; 66 percent of white women; and 72 percent of moderates.
People dislike Hillary Clinton, surely. But they friggin' hate Donald Trump. Ted Cruz fares little better.
Could Trump win somehow by running up a huge margin among white voters — particularly blue collar whites and white men? Well, Trump is viewed unfavorably by 59 percent of whites overall, and he is even viewed unfavorably by majorities of non-college whites (52 percent) and white men (51 percent). And Trump’s awful numbers among college educated whites and white women (detailed above) make the run-up-the-white-vote strategy look still more far fetched.
Now, Cruz. The Texas Senator is viewed unfavorably by 53 percent of women; 50 percent of young voters; 51 percent of blacks; 46 percent of Latinos (versus 32 percent who view him favorably); 65 percent of college educated whites; 56 percent of white women; and 55 percent of moderates. All of that is significantly better than Trump. But he’s underwater with all these groups, and Cruz’s struggles among college educated whites and women (particularly white women) lend some credence to the Democratic assessment that Cruz’s conservatism on social issues could prove crippling among key swing voter groups.
So no matter what, Hillary's 40-ish favorable numbers may be enough, compared to Cruz's worse and Trumps far more awful ones.