Sept. 11– CEDAR RAPIDS — Iowans are nearly evenly split on whether they love him or not, but Donald Trump has taken the lead among likely GOP caucusgoers, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released this morning.
The entertainment television mogul and real estate magnate is the first choice of 27 percent of those likely caucusgoers, ahead of retired physician Ben Carson, 21 percent, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, 9 percent.
The poll of 1,038 likely Republican caucusgoers from Aug. 27 to Sept. 8 found a marked shift in their preferences from a July poll. Then, Iowa Republicans hadWisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on top at 18 percent with Trump and Carson at 10 percent each.
Today, Walker is at 3 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has 6 percent with 5 percent each for Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubioof Florida. No other candidate in the field of 17 hopefuls tops 4 percent, with 4 percent undecided.
Thirty percent of Trump supporters identified Carson as their second choice; 11 percent would go with Cruz.
“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 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.”
But it’s not all roses for Trump. While 27 percent of those polled said they would back him, 25 percent said they “would definitely not support” him for the GOPnomination. Bush is next on this “no way” list with 23 percent, followed by New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie with 14 percent.
Trump’s rise appears to be fueled by a dissatisfaction among Republicans — who control both the U.S. House and Senate — with the way things are in Washington. By a 70 percent to 15 percent margin they say that experience outside of Washington is better for a president than Washington experience.
That may be the most surprising funding in the poll, which has a 3 percent margin of error, Brown said, who pointed out that “more than half the votes in theQuinnipiac University poll of likely- GOP caucusgoers are going to three candidates who have never held political office — Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina.”
The poll findings may hold a warning for Trump and provide optimism for Carson, according to Brown.
“Trump’s 27 to 21 percent 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,” he said. “Carson has a higher favorability rating than Trump and a higher score for honesty and empathy.
“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,” he explained.
Trump has a 60 to 35 percent favorability rating, is thought to be honest and trustworthy by a 56 to 35 percent spread and by 61 to 32 percent they think he cares about their needs and problems, Quinnipiac found. By a 52 to 41 percent believe likely GOP caucusgoers think he has the right temperament and personality to handle an international crisis.
Carson’s numbers are better pretty much all across the board: 79 to 6 percent favorability rating; 88 to 4 percent believe he’s honest and trustworthy; 85 to 5 percent say he cares about their needs and problems; and by 72 to 14 percent they say that he has the right temperament and personality to handle an international crisis. Only on the “strong leadership qualities” questions does Carson trail Trump — 76 to 11 percent for Carson, 83 to 15 percent for Trump.
Cruz gets a 61 to 19 percent favorability rating. By margins of 69 to 16 percent they say he is honest and trustworthy, 70 to 17 percent say cares about their needs and problems, 66 to 19 percent says strong leadership qualities, and 59 to 25 percent say he has right temperament and personality for an international crisis.
For more information, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling
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