The numbers are in for the Republican field as the Hawkeye state has spoken. According to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Friday, businessman Donald Trump leads the pack at 27%, Dr. Ben Carson is in second place with 21%, and 9% support goes to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
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The survey results show a drastic shift from a July poll where Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ranked first with 18% while Trump and Carson tied at 10%. Now at 3%, Walker barely registers with GOP supporters in Iowa.
“The Iowa Republican Caucus looks like a two-man race in which the Washington experience that has traditionally been a major measuring stick that voters have used to choose candidates is now a big negative,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “With five months until the balloting, anything can happen. But the field has become a two-tiered contest – Donald Trump and Ben Carson ahead and everyone else far behind.”
Other candidates battling it out for votes include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, with a 6% approval rating, and Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida in a three-way tie at 5%.
It’s not a total win win for the Trump campaign. Twenty-five percent of likely Republican caucus supporters said they “would definitely not support” him for the presidential nomination. Following close behind was Jeb Bush with 23%, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with 14%.
“With five months until the balloting, anything can happen. But the field has become a two-tiered contest – Donald Trump and Ben Carson ahead and everyone else far behind.”
The top three candidates featured in the poll score drastically different on favorability. Carson came in first with 79% favorable vs. 6% unfavorable, Cruz 61% vs. 19% and Trump 60% vs. 35%.
For leadership skills, 83% had a favorable rating on Trump, 76% on Carson and 66% on Cruz.
Iowa GOP caucus-goers also weighed in on trust and honesty: Carson ranked at the top with 88% vs. 4%, Cruz 69% vs. 16% and Trump 61% vs. 32%.
Another key question on the survey asked voters which Republican candidate has the right temperament and personality to handle an international crisis. An overwhelming 72% vs. 14% backed Carson, 59% vs. 25% for Cruz and 52% vs. 41% for Trump.
“Trump’s 27 – 21% lead over Carson obscures what appears to be the former surgeon’s stronger growth potential in recruiting new supporters when other candidates leave the race. Carson has a higher favorability rating than Trump and a higher score for honesty and empathy,” said Brown. “Trump has an edge on leadership, but Carson has a 20-point margin when it comes to having the right temperament and personality to handle an international crisis."
Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,038 likely Iowa Republican caucus participants from August 27 to September 8 with a margin of error plus or minus 3%.