While Donald Trump has fairly consistently led the field of GOP presidential hopefuls for the past 100 days, a new poll out this morning reminds us just how quickly things can change.
The freshly-released Iowa poll from Quinnipiac University shows a dramatic surge into the lead by Dr. Ben Carson, who now leads Donald Trump 28 – 20. Today, Trump and Carson has essentially swapped positions from the last poll in September, which showed Trump leading Carson 27 – 21. Giving Carson an edge is his huge support from women — a demographic where he trounces Trump with a 33-10 lead.
Carson also earns a remarkable, “almost unheard-of” favorability rating of 84 -10. Meanwhile, while Trump gets highest marks for leadership — 80 percent to Carson’s 76 percent — he also tops the “no way” list as 30 percent of Iowa likely Republican Caucus participants say they “would definitely not support” him for the GOP nomination.Behind Trump and Carson, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz seem to be catching some momentum.
At the other end of the field, Jeb Bush continues to languish and Carly Fiorina has plunged following a post-debate lift last month.
This compares to the results of a September 11 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University showing Trump at 27 percent with Carson at 21 percent.Today, Sen. Rand Paul is at 6 percent, with Carly Fiorina and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 5 percent each. No other candidate tops 3 percent, with 3 percent undecided.
Carson tops Trump 33 – 13 percent among women. Men are divided as 25 percent back Carson and 24 percent go with Trump.
Trump tops the “no way” list as 30 percent of Iowa likely Republican Caucus participants say they “would definitely not support” him for the GOP nomination. Bush is next on this “no way” list with 21 percent.
For 28 percent of Republican Caucus-goers a candidate who shares their values is most important, while 23 percent most want a candidate who is honest and trustworthy.
Carson shares their values, 84 percent of Republicans say, and 89 percent say he is honest and trustworthy, topping the GOP field for both qualities.
“As they’ve been pondering for six months, many in the political world still are trying to understand Carson’s appeal and how someone who seems to be operating outside the traditional news media/political environment is doing so well among the most conservative GOP voters.”
“Today’s results show his appeal is especially strong among the state’s sizeable white, evangelical Christian community, among whom Carson is receiving 36 percent, twice Trump’s 17 percent,” Brown added.
“Those who know Carson seem to like him. He has an almost unheard of 84 – 10 percent favorability rating among likely Republican Caucus-goers, compared to Trump’s 53 – 43 percent rating. To borrow the line from Madison Avenue, ‘Almost no one doesn’t like Ben Carson.'”
Carson cares about their needs and problems, 87 percent of Iowa likely Republican Caucus participants say, the highest mark among any GOP candidate.
Trump gets the highest mark for strong leadership qualities, 80 percent, to Carson’s 76 percent.
Bush has the right kind of experience to be president, 76 percent of Republicans say, topping Cruz at 70 percent, Rubio at 69 percent, Carson at 57 percent, and Trump at 56 percent.
Iowa likely Republican Caucus-goers give Carson an 84 – 10 percent favorability rating, leading Rubio at 70 – 15 percent, Cruz at 65 – 18 percent and Trump at 53 – 43 percent. Bush has a negative 43 – 51 percent.
Looking at which candidate can best handle different issues, Carson leads in only one area, as 31 percent of Republicans say he can best handle social issues. On handling other issues:
•Trump tops Carson 41 – 12 percent on the economy;
•Trump over Carson 32 – 13 percent on taxes;
•Trump tops Carson 37 – 9 percent on illegal immigration;
•Rubio and Trump are close at 18 – 17 percent, respectively, on foreign policy, with Carson at 9 percent.
Interesting to note Carson’s huge surge comes in the wake of recent concerted media attacks to destroy him. You can bet these are far from over — especially as Carson’s showing particular strength in head-to head match-ups against presumed Democrat nominee, Hillary Clinton. Carson is a particular target for the left; few things bother the left more than a black conservative who so thoroughly threatens its narrative. Carson’s emerging strength with women — an audience Clinton feels especially entitled to capture — will no doubt only send the liberal media into a further tizzy. Cue the amped-up liberal attacks on Carson.
To be clear, this is just one poll from one state — and should be taken as just one data point at one point in time. But if nothing else, it reminds us the landscape can change dramatically between now and the first caucuses now a few months away.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]