Good sample size, good methodology, strong poll. The latest poll from PPP (full pdf below) provides evidence of a commonly expressed sentiment: ‘The more Iowans see/hear of Senator Ted Cruz, the less they like him’, which makes Trump’s decision to put the Cruz smarm center of an Iowa stage even more brilliant.
The interesting internals in this poll reflect a possibility (a difficult to measure – but solid possibility) that Marco Rubio could actually upend Cruz from second place.
(Via PPP) – PPP’s new Iowa poll, conducted in partnership with Progress Iowa, continues to find Donald Trump leading in the state. He’s at 31% to 23% for Ted Cruz, 14% for Marco Rubio, 9% for Ben Carson, 4% each for Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, and Rand Paul, 3% for Carly Fiorina, 2% each for Chris Christie and John Kasich, and 1% each for Jim Gilmore and Rick Santorum.
Since we last polled Iowa two and a half weeks ago Trump and Cruz are the only candidates to see their support move by more than a couple points- Trump’s seen a 3 point gain in his support from 28% to 31%, while Cruz has seen a corresponding 3 point decline in his support from 26% to 23%.
Cruz has seen a large drop in his favorability rating over the last few weeks, from 69/18 down to just 56/35. Trump’s continued focus on the ‘Canadian birther’ issue may really be a big part of what’s helping him at Cruz’s expense. We found on our last Iowa poll that only 32% of Republican voters thought someone born in another country should be allowed to serve as President, and attention to Cruz’s birthplace has been a constant since that last poll.
There are still a lot of votes on the table in Iowa- 31% of likely caucus goers say they could change their minds between now and Monday. Trump benefits from having the most firmly committed support though- 80% of his voters say they’re firmly committed to him compared to 71% of Cruz’s and 65% of Rubio’s among the other leading contenders. Among voters who say their mind is totally made up, Trump’s lead over Cruz grows to 12 points at 36/24.
The only other candidate whose supporters are as committed to him as Trump is Rand Paul- that should help Paul to finish 5th or maybe even slip into 4th if enough of Ben Carson’s supporters peel off to other candidates in the closing stretch. (read more)