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Cruz Control: Surging Past Trump In Iowa

By  Robert Kraychik

Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign continues to make progress in Iowa ahead of the state’s Republican presidential primary scheduled on February 1. A Fox News Poll published on Sunday has Cruz as the first choice among 28% of likely Iowan GOP caucusgoers, with Donald Trump in second place at 26%. A joint poll from Bloomberg and The Des Moines Register has Cruz as the first choice among 31% of polled Republican likely caucusgoers in Iowa, with Donald Trump again in second place at 21%.

The Fox News poll places Cruz in the top spot among likely Iowan Republican caucusgoers over Trump. A combined 46% of respondents said Cruz was either first or second choice, compared with 39% for Trump.

Ranking importance of issues, 34% of Republicans polled identified “national security, such as ensuring a strong military and America’s position in the world” as their top priority. 32% stated “economic issues, such as taxes and government spending” as their top priority. 15% selected “immigration issues, such as border security and legalization” as the most important issue. No mention was made of Black Lives Matter, “climate change”, or income inequality.

When asked which Republican candidate stood the greatest chance at defeating Hillary Clinton, however, 32% give the accolade to Trump, compared with 18% thinking Cruz is most able to beat Clinton. 14% say Senator Marco Rubio is best suited to win in a matchup against the former Secretary of State.

Trump receives the greatest hostility from Republicans, however, with 30% of respondents saying they would never support him. 6% say they would never support Cruz.

The Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll surveyed 400 likely Republican caucusgoers in Iowa. Cruz was in the top spot in the realm of favorability, with 73% viewing him favorably and 19% unfavorably. 57% of respondents view Trump favorably, with 38% viewing him unfavorably.

A combined 51% of those polled placed Cruz as either their first or second choice, with 35% doing the same for Trump.

When asked to identify the candidate who they think “knows the most about how to get things done,” 49% of those polled identified Trump, with 22% identifying Cruz. Trump also received the highest numbers of those thinking he would be best at handling economic issues and illegal immigration, with 50% of respondents identifying him as best on both issues to Cruz’s 24% and 22%, respectively.

As in the Fox News Poll, more Republicans think Trump has a greater likelihood than Cruz of winning the presidency in a matchup against Clinton, with 30% saying Trump is best suited to do so and 26% thinking Cruz has the highest chance of doing so.

A national poll released by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News has Trump as the most favored candidate among 30% of Republican respondents, with Cruz at 24%. Compared with poll aggregations from RealClearPolitics, Cruz’s support has been climbing over recent months relative to Trump. In June, Cruz enjoyed approximately 7% support at the national level.

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