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Ted Cruz soars to 2nd place behind Donald Trump in new Iowa poll

Donald Trump leads in Iowa in a Quinnipiac poll released on Tuesday, but barely — and his closest competitor is not Dr. Ben Carson, but Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Trump narrowly leads Cruz, 25-23 percent, a doubling of support for Cruz since the last Quinnipiac poll in Iowa taken last month. Carson is third with 18 percent, and Marco Rubio is fourth with 13 percent.

Rand Paul is next at 5 percent, then Jeb Bush at 4 percent. Carly Fiorina is at 3 percent.

“Last month, we said it was Dr. Ben Carson’s turn in the spotlight. Today, the spotlight turns to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas,” says Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll. “The Iowa Republican Caucus has become a two-tiered contest: Businessman Donald Trump and neurosurgeon Ben Carson lead on the outsider track, and Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio lead among party insiders.”

Brown adds that “the other candidates will need miraculous comebacks to crack the top tier with slightly more than two months before the voting begins.”

Other interesting tidbits into the minds of Iowa likely Republican Caucus participants: They oppose 81 — 15 percent allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. and oppose 82 — 13 percent allowing them into Iowa.

Republicans support 73 — 22 percent sending U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria and say 83 — 9 percent that the U.S. and its allies are losing the fight against ISIS.

A total of 88 percent of Republicans are “very worried” or “somewhat worried” about the possibility of a terrorist attack in the U.S. similar to the attack in Paris.

“One thing almost all Iowa Republicans agree upon is that Syrian refugees should not be allowed into the United States or into Iowa,” Brown said.

From November 16 — 22, Quinnipiac University surveyed 600 likely Iowa Republican Caucus participants with a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points. Live interviewers call landlines and cellphones.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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