Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz are racing down to to the wire in a "too close to call" contest in Iowa for the GOP presidential nomination, with the real estate billionaire at 31 percent support and Texas lawmaker at 29 percent, a new poll shows.
The Quinnipiac University poll
released Tuesday shows Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at a distant 13 percent and the rest of the Republican field straggling behind in single digits with just six days left until the state's pivotal caucus voting.
Here's the breakdown:
- Trump: 31 percent
- Cruz: 29 percent
- Rubio: 13 percent
- Retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson: 7 percent
- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul: 5 percent
- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: 4 percent
- New Jersey Gov. Christie: 3 percent
- Former business executive Carly Fiorina: 1 percent
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich: 1 percent
The survey's margin of error is plus or minus 3.8 percent.
"Despite Sarah Palin's endorsement of Donald Trump
and Gov. Terry Branstad's criticism of Sen. Ted Cruz
, and despite — or because of — Sen. Cruz's 'New York values' comments,
the Iowa Republican Caucus remains too close to call," Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement.
"One week before the caucuses gather, the question is which candidate has the best field organization. If the events of the last two weeks haven't moved the needle, one wonders what would change it in the next six days."
The top of the field is virtually unchanged from results of a Jan, 11, with percentages identical for Trump and Cruz, and at 15 percent for Rubio at the time, the pollster notes.
The survey finds just 2 percent are still undecided on who they might caucus for, but 39 percent say they could still change their mind.
"It all comes down to turnout," Brown declared. "And with four in 10 likely caucus participants saying they still might change their mind, this is an especially volatile race. One thing is increasingly evident, the conservative wing of the Republican party, at least in Iowa, is carrying the day."
Among Iowa Republican voters, 24 percent say they'd "definitely not support" Trump, with the same number saying that about Bush. Only 12 percent were a firm "no" on Cruz.
In other findings, the survey shows:
- Cruz leads Trump 50-34 percent among tea party members, 39-27 percent among white, born-again evangelical Christians, and 49-29 percent among voters who describes themselves as "very conservative"
- Trump leads Cruz 29 - 21 percent among "somewhat conservative" voters, and 37-6 percent among "moderate" or "liberal" voters
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