Sen. Ted Cruz grabbed the top spot in a new presidential straw poll — the first time the Texas lawmaker has done so in seven surveys of the GOP field.
In the political magazine The Weekly Standard's survey,
Cruz had 30 percent of the first place votes of its readers, followed by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, with 26 percent, and Donald Trump, at 17 percent.
Here's the magazine's tally, with the first number the percentage of the ballots on which the candidate was selected for first place — and the second number representing the percentage of ballots in which the candidate was chosen for any of first, second or third:
- Cruz: 30 percent; 66 percent
- Rubio: 26 percent; 60 percent
- Trump: 17 percent; 32 percent
- Ben Carson: 6 percent; 28 percent
- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: 5 percent; 28 percent
- Carly Fiorina: 4 percent; 32 percent
- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: 3 percent; 13 percent
- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: 3 percent; 13 percent
- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul: 3 percent; 10 percent
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich: 2 percent; 10 percent
- Rick Santorum: - percent; 2 percent
Magazine editor and political commentator William Kristol said the straw-poll results seem "more or less in accord with the impressions I formed from a day and a half in Iowa at the end of last week."
"My main takeaway from Iowa was this," he writes. "It's a fluid and volatile race; few Republicans have definitively made up their minds; and a lot depends on what the various candidates say and do, and the cases they make for themselves and against their rivals, in the weeks to come."
He adds he also sensed "Cruz and Rubio were strong, that Trump had solid support, but much less room to grow, that Carson was fading, Bush had faded, and that Christie probably had the best chance of moving up from the second tier as a long shot."
Kristol also notes national security is on most readers' minds, and that "voters seem to be paying attention to the Cruz-Rubio foreign policy and intelligence capabilities debates, and perhaps to claims such as Christie's to be better ready to handle national security issues."
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