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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

New Iowa poll shows why Rubio focusing on Cruz

7

December

Here's why Marco Rubio is focusing on Ted Cruz:

A new Monmouth University poll of likely Iowa caucusgoers shows:

Ted Cruz - 24 percent

Donald Trump - 19 percent

Marco Rubio - 17 percent

Ben Carson - 13 percent

Jeb Bush - 6 percent

From a polling memo:

Monmouth showed Carson on top two months ago, but his support has plummeted by 19 points since then.  Cruz’s support, on the other hand, has jumped by 14 points.  Rubio has seen his vote share increase by 7 points since October.  Support levels for both Trump and Bush are nearly identical to two months ago.

Evangelical voters, who make up about half of the Iowa GOP caucus electorate, back Cruz (30%) over Trump (18%), Rubio (16%), and Carson (15%).  In October, Carson held the advantage with this group – garnering 36% support to 18% for Trump, 12% for Cruz, and 9% for Rubio.

Cruz also has an edge among voters who call themselves tea party supporters.  He commands 36% support among this group, compared to 20% for Trump, 17% for Carson, and 11% for Rubio.  In October, this group gave their vote to Carson (30%) over Trump (22%), Cruz (17%), and Rubio (8%).

There is a notable gender difference among caucusgoers’ preferences.  Men prefer Cruz (29%) and Trump (24%) over Rubio (12%) and Carson (12%).  Women support Rubio (23%) and Cruz (19%) over Carson (15%) and Trump (14%).

“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 independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.  “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.”

[Last modified: Monday, December 7, 2015 12:28pm]

    

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