Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has overtaken businessman Donald Trump in the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in Iowa, a new poll from Monmouth University shows.
Cruz gets 24 percent support among likely Republican caucus goers, a significant lead over Trump’s 19 percent. His fellow senator Marco Rubio of Florida comes in third with 17 percent support, and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson nets 13 percent support.
Rounding out the field is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 6 percent, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul with 4 percent, and former Hewlett Packard Executive Carly Fiorina and Ohio Gov. John Kasich with 3 percent. No other candidate got more than 2 percent support.
This is only the second time another Republican candidate has drawn more support than Trump since early August. Carson briefly overtook Trump in October before seeing a substantial drop off in his support. He has lost 19 points since a Monmonth survey two months ago.
“This marks the first time Ted Cruz has held a lead in any of the crucial early states. As Ben Carson’s stock has fallen, Cruz has been able to corral most of those voters,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, “Congressman King’s endorsement may not be the primary reason for this swing, but it certainly put a stamp on the Cruz surge in Iowa.”
He was referring to Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who endorsed Cruz in mid-November, calling him “the answer to my prayers.” Nearly one in five likely caucus goers told Monmouth the endorsement made them more likely to support Cruz.
Cruz has abstained from criticizing Trump unlike many of his fellow candidates, but that doesn’t mean he believes Trump will be the eventual victor in the Republican primary race.