Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas remains in the top spot with Iowa voters, keeping ahead of his strongest competitor Donald Trump less than three weeks before the state’s caucus, according to a Jan. 7-10 Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll.
Twenty-five percent of Iowa respondents chose Cruz as their first choice for president. Trump received 22 percent of the votes.
When it came to who voters would choose as their second choice for president, the percentages took a striking turn. Cruz scored 23 percent of votes, while Trump only received 11 percent.
When combined, Cruz leads Trump 48 percent to 33 percent.
Taking third and fourth place were Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, with 12 percent and 11 percent, respectively.
No other candidate received more than 5 percent of Iowa voters' support. The candidates with less than 5 percent include Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Virginia.
Trump gained 1 percent in Iowa since December when he had a 21 percent showing in a Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll, but Cruz has dropped 6 percentage points since the same poll.
“It’s hard to say Donald Trump is back, because his support grew only 1 point,” J. Ann Selzer, founder of Selzer & Co, told Bloomberg Politics. “It seems more a matter of slippage for Cruz. He has upside potential, for sure. But so does Trump, just in different ways.”
The latest poll may find Cruz in the lead, but Trump has a greater amount of support under certain circumstances and with specific voters. For those who want to see the government disrupted, 31 percent chose Trump as their candidate, with 26 percent supporting Cruz. Trump also has a greater amount of support from Catholics, first-time caucus-goers, and those with a household income of $100,000 or more.
Cruz has specific groups, too, that show him a greater amount of support than Trump. Very conservative voters prefer Cruz, as do born-again evangelicals, tea party supporters, and those who attend religious services at least one a week.
Forty-two percent of respondents find government disruption from their candidate to be a major consideration in who they choose for president. Of those polled, 71 percent said they believe Trump would be the most disruptive to the government, a finding that includes Cruz supporters.
“He speaks his mind and he'd probably be a good change from the establishment politicians that we have had who haven't done anything useful,” Trump supporter Richard Kniseley, 60, a pharmaceutical auditor from Ft. Dodge, Iowa, told Bloomberg Politics. “It might be a bit of a risk, but I think we need to do something different.”
There is a great difference between the Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll performed in Iowa and one completed by Gravis Marketing for One America News Jan. 11-12.
According to the Gravis Marketing/One America News poll, Trump leads in Iowa with 34 percent of the votes. Cruz takes second place with 28 percent, Carson third with 9 percent and Rubio fourth with 5 percent.