Meet your new Iowa frontrunner: Ted Cruz

7 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A new poll shows a new leader in the GOP Iowa race — and it’s not Trump or Carson.

In the poll — conducted by Monmouth University — Cruz earned 24 percent of the vote and “his first lead in any early state poll of the 2016 cycle.” Ted Cruz of Texas has surpassed celebrity businessman Donald Trump as the top pick for the party nomination among Iowa Republicans, a new poll shows, a result of his consolidation of support among the state’s influential evangelical Christian voters. The Monmouth University Poll of likely Iowa Republican caucus goers released Monday found that 24% supported Cruz, followed by 19% backing Trump, 17% in the camp of Florida Sen. Jeb Bush receives just six percent support in the new survey, with Rand Paul (four percent), Carly Fiorina (three percent) and John Kasich (three percent) behind.

That’s because in both 2008 and 2012, 57 percent or more of GOP caucus-goers described themselves as evangelical or born again, according to entrance polls. Thirty percent of evangelical voters back the Texas senator, versus 18 percent who back Trump, 16 percent who back Rubio and 15 percent who back Carson. On Saturday, five GOP candidates addressed the Rising Tide Summit in Cedar Rapids, one of the last multicandidate events in Iowa before voting begins. Cruz has cultivated evangelical leaders and groups for years, and notably announced his presidential bid at Liberty University (a hotbed of evangelical activism). Carson has struggled on foreign-policy questions in recent campaign forums, while Cruz has secured endorsements from a roster of conservatives including influential Rep.

He’s building a real organization in the state, and appears to be a real threat to win the caucuses — if he can hang on to his lead over the remaining two months. It’s conceivable that Trump’s campaign could survive a second-place showing to Cruz in Iowa, but a loss to Rubio would be a much greater embarrassment, and could frame the race in later contests as one between Rubio and Cruz.

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