With less than two months to go before the first Iowa primary, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has overtaken Donald Trump in the Hawkeye State:
A Monmouth University poll said Cruz has 24 percent support among likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa, a 14-point jump for the Texas senator since October.
Trump won 19 percent in the poll, giving Cruz a 5 percent lead that’s outside the margin of error.
Much of Cruz’s support stems from evangelical Iowans who back the conservative senator 30 percent to Trump’s 18 percent. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson previously led the GOP field in support among this coveted demographic, but now earns just 15 percent support among evangelicals, putting him behind Cruz, Trump, and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (16 percent).
Cruz also carries a substantial lead among voters affiliated with the Tea Party. The freshman senator earns 36 percent support compared to Trump (20 percent), Carson (17 percent) and Rubio (11 percent).
Cruz’s rise can also be attributed, in part, to his recent endorsement from Iowa Rep. Steve King. Roughly 20 percent of Republicans in the Hawkeye State said King’s support makes them more inclined to back Cruz come Feb. 1, including 7 percent who claim King’s endorsement makes them “a lot more likely.”
Behind Trump are Rubio with 17 percent and Carson with 13 percent. Rubio, however, is the most-liked Republican candidate in Iowa, with 70 percent of voters holding a positive view of him, compared to 67 percent for both Cruz and Carson and 54 percent for Trump.