Monmouth University released a major Iowa poll Monday and the results are stunning.
Trump and Carson are tied for the lead at 23%. It’s the first time that Trump has had competition for first place.
The next tier of candidates includes Carly Fiorina (10%) and Ted Cruz (9%), followed by Scott Walker (7%), Jeb Bush (5%), John Kasich (4%), Marco Rubio (4%), and Rand Paul (3%).
Remember when the establishment and the pundits said Kasich won the debate? It’s a dim memory now.
Bush is maintaining his not-too-stellar 5%. Walker and Rubio are going nowhere in Iowa.
The last two Iowa caucus victors, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, each garner 2% of the vote. None of the other six candidates included in the poll register more than 1% support.
Carson and Fiorina (somewhat) have surged since the last Iowa poll and Walker has faded away. In mid-July, Walker was the front runner, with Trump and Carson following behind.
Only 12% of likely Republican caucus goers say they are completely decided on which candidate they will support in February. Another 42% have a strong preference now but are willing to consider other candidates, 27% percent have a slight preference, and 20% say they are really undecided even if they are able to name a choice now.
Just 1-in-4 voters (25%) say they have their choice narrowed down to one or two candidates, while most (54%) say they can see themselves caucusing for any of 3 to 4 candidates currently in the race. Another 17% say they are realistically considering giving their support to 5 or more candidates in field.
Trump’s supporters are the most resolute with 30% of them saying they are locked in.
Iowa Republicans now hold an almost universally positive opinion of Ben Carson at 81% favorable to just 6% unfavorable, compared to 63% favorable and 11% unfavorable in July.
Carly Fiorina has also seen her numbers improve to 67% favorable and 8% unfavorable, up from 44% and 10% in July.
John Kasich’s name recognition has also gone up but the gap between his positive and negative ratings remains similar at 32% favorable and 23% unfavorable, compared to 24% and 17% in the prior poll.
Donald Trump’s rating has ticked up slightly – now standing at 52% favorable and 33% unfavorable, compared to 47% and 35% in July.
We have been told Trump unfavorables can never improve because everyone already knows him well, but they are improving.
In June, a Fox News poll showed that almost six in 10 Republicans (59 percent) would never vote for Trump under any circumstances. In a Fox News survey released Monday night, that number was down to 33 percent, The Washington Post reported.
Carson is taking the lead over Trump among Conservatives across the board.
Remarkably, of those voters who prefer an outsider, more than two-thirds want one who has no government experience.