IOWA: Ted Cruz Takes Lead In New Poll

Ted Cruz has taken his first polling lead in an early state. CNN reports:

Ted Cruz has overtaken Donald Trump in Iowa, according to a Monmouth University survey of Iowa Republicans released Monday. If the caucuses were held today, Cruz would win with 24% support to Trump’s 19% backing. Marco Rubio comes in a close third with 17% and Ben Carson, who was beating Trump 32%-18% in the last Monmouth University poll, has fallen to 13% support. Behind the Cruz surge is support among evangelicals — a decisive voting bloc in Iowa — who selected Cruz over Trump 30%-18%.

Monmouth poll director Patrick Murray attributed Cruz’s rise to Carson’s fall in the early nominating state, but also noted that Iowa Rep. Steve King’s endorsement likely had an impact. Nearly 20% of respondents said that King’s endorsement made them more likely to support Cruz.

“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,” Murray said in a statement Monday. “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.”