The big news out of Iowa Tuesday morning is that Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz is starting to catch fire in Iowa, a sure indication that the race for the Republican nomination is wide open, according to a newly-released Quinnipiac University poll. Donald Trump gets 25 percent of Iowa likely Republican Caucus participants in a too-close-to-call race with Sen. Cruz who is at 23 percent, within the margin of error (see below). Perhaps the most revealing portion of the polling is the slipping support of Dr. Ben Carson, who polled at 18 percent, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida staying put at 13 percent. This compares to the results of an October 22 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University showing Carson at 28 percent, with 20 percent for Trump, Rubio at 13 percent and Cruz at 10 percent.
Other candidates in the race shows that the poor showing for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush continues, who goes from 5 percent October 22 to 4 percent today. Sen. Rand Paul is at 5 percent, with Carly Fiorina at 3 percent. No other candidate tops 2 percent, with 2 percent undecided.
In a bad sign for both Bush and Trump among Iowa Republican Caucus-goers, 26 percent say they “would definitely not support” Bush, with 23 percent saying “no way” to Trump.
In fact, Trump is once again embroiled in controversy in claiming that Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the terrorist attacks on 9/11, a claim that has been widely debunked by multiple fact-checkers and that the videos he claimed to have seen have yet to be found. The claim is widely recognized to be false and Trump has doubled down and tripled down on the claim, reported CNN.com.
Trump hasn’t backed down from comments that he would consider “Shutting down mosques or putting Islamic houses of worship in the U.S. under surveillance” to guard against future terror attacks.
“We have great people in the Muslim population, but something’s happening. Something’s happening. I always say they’re not coming from Sweden that want to kill us, they’re not coming from Norway, they’re not coming from Denmark. They’re coming from a certain part of the world with a certain philosophy,” Trump said. “We have to have strong surveillance.”
“Last month, we said it was Dr. Ben Carson’s turn in the spotlight. Today, the spotlight turns to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. The Iowa Republican Caucus has become a two-tiered contest: Businessman Donald Trump and neurosurgeon Ben Carson lead on the outsider track, and Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio lead among party insiders,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “The other candidates will need miraculous comebacks to crack the top tier with slightly more than two months before the voting begins.”
“Worth remembering, however, is that winning Iowa is no guarantee of success elsewhere. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee won the 2008 caucus and former Sen. Rick Santorum took the 2012 crown, yet both were quickly gone from those nomination fights as the primary calendar moved to larger states,” Brown added.
Trump’s big issue is “terrorism” and 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. “One thing almost all Iowa Republicans agree upon is that Syrian refugees should not be allowed into the United States or into Iowa,” Brown said.
From November 16 – 22, Quinnipiac University surveyed 600 likely Iowa Republican Caucus participants with a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.