A new poll finds Texas Sen. Ted Cruz ahead of the GOP field in Iowa, with an almost 7-point lead over business mogul Donald Trump in the run-up to the Feb. 1 caucuses.
The poll, conducted by Iowa State University and WHO-TV, showed Cruz out ahead with 25.8 of the vote and Trump in second place at 18.9 percent.Trump had recently been shown ahead in the Hawkeye State. However, most pundits have agreed that Cruz had the better grassroots support and organization in the state, and he had been shown ahead for much of the autumn.
Third in the poll was a somewhat resurgent Ben Carson. The retired neurosurgeon’s 13.4 percent was surprising, given the recent turmoil in the Carson campaign. Fourth and fifth were Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, with 12.3 and 6.9 percent, respectively.
Those weren’t the only surprising findings in the Iowa State University/WHO-TV poll. While Cruz had a fairly substantial margin, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton didn’t. She had only a 47.4 – 45 lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, not even outside the margin of error.
Perhaps the most surprising number was the number of voters who had yet to make up their mind — a staggering 34.2 percent.
The poll was conducted between Jan. 5 and 22, with a margin of error of 3.5 percent.
“Trump has done an excellent job of motivating non-traditional Republicans and people who don’t typically vote to support him and attend his rallies. However, our poll has shown — twice now – that he is not the leading candidate among people who are the most likely to go out on caucus night,” said David J. Andersen, an assistant professor of political science at Iowa State.