Texas Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] has surged to the top rungs of the 2016 field in Iowa, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll of likely Republican caucus voters released Tuesday.
Businessman Donald Trump still leads with 25 percent.
But Cruz has surpassed former neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 23 percent. The Texas senator is up 13 points since last month.
Meanwhile, Carson has fallen from 28 percent to 18 percent. Florida Sen. [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore] is in fourth place with 13 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,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
Kentucky Sen. [crscore]Rand Paul[/crscore] has 5 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has 4 percent, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has 3 percent and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has 3 percent in the poll of 600 likely Iowa Republican caucus-goers.
The Iowa caucuses, the first nominating contest of the cycle, is fast approaching on Feb. 1. “The other candidates will need miraculous comebacks to crack the top tier with slightly more than two months before the voting begins,” Brown said.
“Worth remembering, however, is that winning Iowa is no guarantee of success elsewhere,” Brown added. “Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee won the 2008 caucus and former Sen. Rick Santorum took the 2012 crown, yet both were quickly gone from those nomination fights as the primary calendar moved to larger states.”
Both Huckabee and Santorum continue to struggle in the state they both once won, garnering just 2 percent of support in the poll.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich also has 1 percent of support.
The poll was conducted from Nov. 16 to 22 with a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
What remains to be seen is whether Trump begins to attack Cruz. Soon after Carson’s poll numbers threatened his lead, Trump relentlessly went after the doctor.
Both Trump and Cruz have played nice with each other so far. But Trump suggested earlier this month that would change if the conservative Cruz began to rise.
“If he catches on, then I guess we will have to go to war. But so far we haven’t,” Trump said.
Here is a breakdown of the Iowa toplines:
Donald Trump 25 percent
Ted Cruz 23 percent
Ben Carson 18 percent
Marco Rubio 13 percent
Rand Paul 5 percent
Jeb Bush 4 percent
Carly Fiorina 3 percent
Chris Christie 2 percent
Mike Huckabee 2 percent
Rick Santorum 2 percent
John Kasich 1 percent