You didn’t actually hear it here first, but it’s two months out and the momentum is huge, or should I say “yuuuuuuuge.” The latest Monmouth University poll is out and Cruz is, well, cruising.
Stoked by evangelical and tea-party support, Ted Cruz has surged to first place in Iowa, according to the results of a Monmouth University poll released Monday surveying voters likely to participate in the Republican caucus on Feb. 1.
Cruz earned 24 percent of support among likely caucus-goers, with 19 percent opting for Donald Trump, whose polling advantage in the state has dwindled in recent weeks. In a Quinnipiac University survey conducted in mid-November, Trump held a slim 25 percent to 23 percent advantage over Cruz, while retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson finished with 18 percent.
In this survey, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio finished third with 17 percent, followed by 13 percent for Carson (a 19-point drop from October), 6 percent for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 4 percent for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, 3 percent for former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and 2 percent for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. All other candidates finished with 1 percent or less support, with 4 percent undecided and 1 percent describing themselves as “uncommitted.”
Look at the three month October-November-December shifts. November is a Quinnipiac poll, the other two are Monmouth.
Trump is treading water, the Quinnipiac November poll appears to be an outlier. Cruz is surging, Rubio is steadily gaining ground and Carson has crashed and burned.
Cruz will likely win Iowa. If Trump holds second place, he remains viable and significant. If, however, Rubio edges him out, then Trump will be damaged badly, and the long-awaited Rubio vs. Cruz cage match will commence. Bush has to hope that doesn’t happen, because if it does it leaves no room for a Lazarus-McCain rise from the dead play for Jeb! If Trump holds off Rubio and Bush beats Carson (probably unlikely, but this is Iowa we’re talking about, so who knows) Bush will be primed for a possible comeback. Then on to New Hampshire.
Less than two months to go! Boy do I love primary season.