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Quinnipiac poll: First-time voters help boost Donald Trump’s lead

With hours to go before the first votes are cast, a new poll shows Donald Trump’s lead widening, due in large part to support from likely first-time caucus goers.

Trump holds a 7 point lead over Ted Cruz, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday morning. Trump is at 31 percent, followed by Cruz at 24 percent. Marco Rubio holds his third place position with 17 percent, followed by Ben Carson at 8 percent.

Trump leads Cruz 40 percent to 22 percent among first-time Republican caucus goers. Cruz leads Trump 26 percent to 25 percent among those Republicans who have attended a caucus before.

Eighty-one percent of people who picked Trump as their first choice said their mind were made up.

While Trump holds a significant lead over the Republican field, many Iowa Republicans said they would not support the New York businessman if he were the Republican nominee. The poll found 35 percent of likely Republican caucus goers said they would not support Trump as the nominee; while 21 percent said they would not support Jeb Bush if he were the nominee.

On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 49 percent to 46 percent among likely Democratic caucus goers. Among first time caucus goers, Sanders leads Clinton 62 percent to 35 percent.

Eighty-five percent of likely Democratic caucus goers said their mind was already made up.

The Quinnipiac University poll took place between Jan. 25 and Jan. 31. The Republican survey has a margin of error of 3.3 percent; while the Democratic survey has a margin of error of 3.2 percent.
The Iowa caucuses start at 7 p.m. Central time.

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