Shock Poll: Cruz surges ahead of Trump and Carson in Iowa
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has surpassed Donald Trump and Ben Carson in Iowa, a new poll finds, giving the Texas Republican his first lead of the cycle in an early-voting state.
Cruz, who has been on a sharp upward trajectory in the polls in recent weeks, takes 24 percent of support in the Hawkeye State, according to a Monmouth University survey released on Monday.
Trump is in second place in the poll with 19 percent, followed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) at 17 percent, and Ben Carson, who suffered by far the steepest decline of any candidate, clocking in at 13 percent.
Carson — who has been dogged by foreign policy blunders since last month’s terror attacks in Paris thrust national security to the forefront of the GOP campaign debates — is in free-fall.
He held a commanding lead in the Monmouth survey of Iowa from late October, taking 32 percent support over Trump, who at the time was a distant second place with only 18 percent support.
Carson has fallen 19 points in the last month-and-a-half, while Cruz has gained 14 points and Rubio has picked up seven.
Evangelical voters, who make up a strong majority of Iowa caucus-goers, have moved behind Cruz, who now has a two-to-one lead over Carson among this influential block.
Cruz takes 30 percent support from Iowa evangelicals, followed by Trump at 18 percent, Rubio at 16 percent, and Carson at 15 percent.
Last month, Carson had a two-to-one lead over Trump among evangelicals in the state, taking 36 percent support. Carson has lost 21 percent of his evangelical supporter in just over a month, according to Monmouth.
“As Ben Carson’s stock has fallen, Cruz has been able to corral most of those voters,” said Monmouth pollster Patrick Murray….