There is no denying it, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has clear momentum a little more than two months out from the Iowa Caucus. Two polls released over the last two days show that Cruz has surged into second place breaking 20% in both polls.
In the CBS/YouGov poll Donald Trump has retaken the lead from Ben Carson. Carson is also surpassed by Cruz who rise comes at the expense of Carson. A quarter of Carson’s supporters have switched to Cruz. The change comes on the heels of bad press for Carson and Cruz landing the endorsement of Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa).
Ted Cruz has gained ground — and Ben Carson has lost ground — among some key voting groups in Iowa: evangelicals, Tea Party supporters, those who are very conservative and older voters. And while Trump still leads among some of these groups, it’s Cruz who is ahead among the very conservative, and Trump leads Cruz by just two points among evangelical voters.
One interesting tidbit from this poll is that more Republicans see Cruz as ready to be Commander-in-Chief than any of top five candidates polled on this question at 67%, only 15% saw him as not being ready. Rubio had the second highest number at 51% while 28% said he was not ready. A majority viewed Trump as being ready at 49% however 39% said he was not ready. Only 43% said that Ben Carson was ready while 38% said he was not. Bush is the only candidate who was polled on this question who was upside down with more Republicans believing he was not ready at 46% compared to those who believe he is ready to be Commander-in-Chief – 38%.
In light of what happened in Paris, Mali, and what is currently going on in Syria it is hard to see how a candidate who is not perceived to be ready to become Commander-in-Chief will get the nod. I suspect we’ll see a further Carson decline.
CBS/YouGov Poll results: 1. Donald Trump – 30% (+3) 2. Ted Cruz – 21% (+9) 3. Ben Carson – 18% (-9) 4. Marco Rubio – 11% (+2) 5. Jeb Bush – 5% (-1) 6. Carly Fiorina – 4% (+1) 7. (Tie) Rand Paul (-1), Chris Christie (+1), and Rick Santorum (same) – 2% 10. Mike Huckabee (-1) and John Kasich (-1) – 1% (Bobby Jindal was included in his poll as it was taken before he dropped out.)
Cruz pulls within two points of Donald Trump in the latest Quinnipiac poll.
Some tidbits from that poll:
The economy and jobs are the most important issues in deciding who they will support, 24 percent of GOP caucus-goers say, with 15 percent each for terrorism and foreign policy, 11 percent for the federal deficit and 10 percent for immigration.
Trump can best handle the economy, 49 percent of Republicans say, with 11 percent picking Cruz. Carson, Rubio and Fiorina are the choice of 6 percent each. Trump is tops handling terrorism, 30 percent of Republican Caucus-goers say, with 20 percent for Cruz, 10 percent for Rubio and 7 percent for Bush.
Carson, Paul and New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie are at 5 percent each.
Cruz is best on foreign policy, 24 percent of Republicans say, with 18 percent for Trump, 15 percent for Rubio and 8 percent for Bush. Carson and Paul are at 6 percent each.
Iowa likely Republican Caucus participants oppose 81 – 15 percent allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. and oppose 82 – 13 percent allowing them into Iowa.
Republicans support 73 – 22 percent sending U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria and say 83 – 9 percent that the U.S. and its allies are losing the fight against ISIS.
A total of 88 percent of Republicans are “very worried” or “somewhat worried” about the possibility of a terrorist attack in the U.S. similar to the attack in Paris.
Quinnipiac Poll results: 1. Donald Trump – 25% (+5) 2. Ted Cruz – 23% (+13) 3. Ben Carson – 18% (-10%) 4. Marco Rubio – 13% (no change) 5. Rand Paul – 5% (-1) 6. Jeb Bush – 4% (-1%) 7. Carly Fiorina – 3% (-2) 8. (Tie) Mike Huckabee (no change), Chris Christie (+1), and Rick Santorum (+1) – 2% 11. John Kasich – 1% (-2).
The question that remains is will it last and will he be able to surpass Donald Trump who has had, for the most part, a solid grip as a top contender in Iowa?