Ted Cruz on Tuesday edged into a virtual tie with GOP front-runner Donald Trump in a new Quinnipiac University poll released for the state of Iowa, with Trump retaining a narrow lead of 25 percent of the vote, followed by Cruz with 23 percent, doubling his support from four weeks ago.
By the numbers:
- Trump, 25 percent;
- Cruz, 23 percent;
- Dr. Ben Carson, 18 percent;
- Sen. Marco Rubio, 13 percent;
- Sen. Rand Paul, 5 percent;
- Former Gov. Jeb Bush, 4 percent;
- Carly Fiorina, 3 percent;
- Gov. Chris Christie, 2 percent;
- Former Gov. Mike Huckabee, 2 percent;
- Former Sen. Rick Santorum, 2 percent;
- Gov. John Kasich, 1 percent;
- Former Gov. Jim Gilmore, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Former Gov. George Pataki, zero.
In an Oct. 22 Quinnipiac Poll, Carson had 28 percent, Trump had 20 percent, Rubio was at 13 percent, and Cruz nabbed 10 percent. Bush's numbers remained virtually the same, as he had 5 percent in the October poll.
The Quinnipiac Poll was conducted between Nov. 16-22 of 600 likely Iowa Republican Caucus participants, and carried a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points. In addition, 58 percent of the voters said they might still change their minds.
"Last month, we said it was Dr. Ben Carson's turn in the spotlight. Today, the spotlight turns to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. The Iowa Republican Caucus has become a two-tiered contest: Businessman Donald Trump and neurosurgeon Ben Carson lead on the outsider track, and Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio lead among party insiders," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
Brown, though, pointed out that winning in Iowa is no guarantee of winning the primary election, as Huckabee won the GOP caucus in 2008 and Santorum in 2012, but "both were quickly gone from those nomination fights as the primary calendar moved to larger states."
Cruz's Iowa numbers are in line with other polls released in recent days, including a new CBS News Poll
that showed he'd replaced Carson in second place, with the retired neurosurgeon slipping into third place.
Meanwhile, Carson received the top favorability rating, at 79-15 percent, followed by 73-15 percent for Cruz, 70-18 percent for Rubio, and 59-34 percent for Trump.
Jeb Bush's numbers, though, continued to prove disappointing. He had a negative 39-53 percent ranking, and 26 percent of the caucus-goers said they "would definitely not support him," with another 23 percent saying they would not support Trump.
Meanwhile, just five percent said they would not support Cruz, who got the best numbers in that category:
- Trump, 23 percent;
- Cruz, 5 percent;
- Carson, 9 percent;
- Rubio, 7 percent;
- Paul, 12 percent;
- Bush, 26 percent;
- Fiorina, 10 percent;
- Christie, 14 percent;
- Huckabee, 10 percent;
- Santorum, 9 percent;
- Gov. John Kasich, 19 percent;
- Gilmore, 11 percent;
- Graham, 15 percent;
- Pataki, 14 percent
The poll showed 24 percent of voters said the economy and jobs are the most important issues determining who will get their vote, followed by 15 percent who said terrorism and foreign policy, 11 percent on the federal deficit, and 10 percent for immigration.
On the economy, 49 percent of the voters said Trump is best, followed by 11 percent for Cruz. Carson, Rubio, and Fiorina were picked by six percent each.
Trump was also deemed tops for handling terrorism by 30 percent of the voters, followed by 20 percent for Cruz, 10 percent for Rubio and 7 percent for Bush. Carson, Paul, and Christie followed at five percent each.
Cruz, though, was deemed best on foreign policy by 24 percent, followed by 18 percent for Trump, 15 percent for Rubio, and 8 percent for Bush. Carson and Paul each had six percent.
The caucus-goers also overwhelmingly opposed allowing Syrian refugees to come to the United States, by 81-15 percent, and 82 percent said they do they not want them in Iowa.
However, they overwhelmingly supported, by 73-22 percent, sending U.S. ground troops to Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS, and 88 percent said they're either very worried or somewhat worried about the possibility of a terrorist attack in the United States that is similar to the one in Paris on Nov. 13.
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