Since he entered the race just a few months ago, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has consistently enjoyed top dog status in poll after poll after poll. The only question has been, by how much is he leading the others?
Today, that all changes, as one GOP candidate has now TIED The Donald for first place in the critical state of Iowa.
As The Hill reports:
Donald Trump and Ben Carson are tied for the lead in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa, according to a Monmouth University poll released on Monday.
The survey found Trump and Carson taking 23 percent support each.
It’s the first survey of Iowa released this month not to show Trump all alone in the lead, and further evidence of Carson’s polling strength.
Carson has the best favorability rating in the field, with 81 percent saying they have a positive view of him, against only 6 percent who said they view him unfavorably.
The new poll also draws new distinctions within the voting electorate, showing differences between who is supporting Trump vs. Carson.
While Trump leads in the poll among Tea Party conservatives and men, Carson leads among Evangelicals and women.
“After more than a month of Trump winning virtually every Republican demographic group, we’ve finally got a little variation in voting blocs to talk about,” said Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray.
The Monmouth survey is the third consecutive poll of Iowa to find Trump and Carson atop the field. The two men are also in first and second place nationally, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.
Yet, while the survey shows some distinctions in voter blocs supporting each candidate, at the same time it’s reinforcing the common thread the frontrunners in this election cycle share: their “outsider,” “anti-establishment” status.
The survey shows the degree to which political outsiders and anti-establishment candidates are dominating in the early stages of the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Businesswoman Carly Fiorina is in third place in the poll with 10 percent support, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at 9 percent support.
Sixty-six percent of Iowa Republicans polled said the country needs a president from outside of the government to bring a fresh perspective to Washington.
No other candidates reached double-digit support in the poll.
“These results mark a significant shake-up in the leaderboard from Monmouth’s Iowa poll taken before the first debate,” Murray said. “Carson and, to a lesser extent, Fiorina have surged, while Walker has faded into the background.”
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush came in at 5 percent support. He has one of the worst favorability ratings in the field in Iowa, with only 32 percent viewing him favorably, against 51 percent who view him unfavorably.
Rounding out the field are Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Marco Rubio at 4 percent each, and Sen. Rand Paul at 3 percent. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Penn.), the past two winners of the Iowa caucuses, each took 2 percent support.
The Monmouth University survey of 405 Iowa Republicans was conducted between Aug. 27 and Aug. 30 and has a 4.9 percentage point margin of error.
In what has already been an extraordinary early primary season, things continue to just get more interesting. While Trump and Carson couldn’t be more different stylistically — the one, brash and outspoken, while the other’s soft-spoken and wry — they both represent the anti-establishment, outsider trend that is crystal clear this year. As we wrote about yesterday, this election cycle seems as much about what the candidates are NOT as what they ARE — showcasing just how fed up American voters are with the past seven years. The fact that today’s poll results show that a full 66% of Iowa Republicans say we need a president from outside the government speaks VOLUMES.
Let’s just hope, whichever candidate we ultimately choose on the GOP ticket, we take that anger all the way to the White House.