Ted Cruz cruises past Ben Carson in Iowa - and The Donald is back on top 

  • Donald Trump now has a commanding lead in Iowa by nine points 
  • Ben Carson, who was in first place in the state in several polls last month, has dropped to third in the new CBS/YouGov poll 
  • Cruz gets higher marks on presidential readiness than the other top Republicans in the state 

Ben Carson is losing ground and Ted Cruz is moving up the ranks to the No. 2 spot, in a new poll out today that shows the preferences of Iowa voters.

In the new CBS/YouGov poll, Cruz has pushed past Carson to take 21 percent of the vote, to Carson's 19, while Donald Trump – who had lost his lead to Carson in poll after poll last month in Iowa – now has a significant lead, earning the support of 30 percent of likely Republican voters. 

Support from some of Carson's core constituencies in Iowa – evangelicals, Tea Party supporters, very conservative voters and older voters – is starting to erode, as a majority of very conservative voters have drifted to the Cruz column. 

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Sen. Ted Cruz (pictured) is surging in Iowa, while Ben Carson has lost support among some key constituencies
Sen. Ted Cruz  is surging in Iowa, while Ben Carson (pictured) has lost support among some key constituencies

Sen. Ted Cruz (left) is surging in Iowa, while Ben Carson (right) has lost support among some key constituencies 

Donald Trump once again holds a comfortable lead in Iowa, with a new poll showing him nine points ahead of Ted Cruz and 11 points ahead of Ben Carson, who was polling at No. 1 in the state for awhile 

Donald Trump once again holds a comfortable lead in Iowa, with a new poll showing him nine points ahead of Ted Cruz and 11 points ahead of Ben Carson, who was polling at No. 1 in the state for awhile 

Donald Trump has a comfortable lead again in Iowa, according to the new CBS News/YouGov poll, while Ben Carson's No. 2 spot has been taken by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz 

Donald Trump has a comfortable lead again in Iowa, according to the new CBS News/YouGov poll, while Ben Carson's No. 2 spot has been taken by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz 

Trump is leading with evangelical voters, but is only 2 points ahead of both Cruz and Carson in this category. 

Trump is way ahead of his Republican peers in polling of moderate Republicans, with 53 percent breaking for Trump. The next-highest percentage is the 14 percent of moderate Republicans who are supporting Carson. 

Following the top three candidates is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, getting the support of 11 percent of likely GOP voters. Rubio got better news today out of New Hampshire, where he's second place – albeit a distant second – after Trump. 

Back in Iowa, in fifth place, is the former establishment frontrunner Jeb Bush, with 5 percent support. And after Bush comes former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who has earned 4 percent support. 

No other Republican running in the very crowded field received more than 2 percent support. 

Cruz's Senate experience could be giving him a boost in light of the ISIS attack on Paris, as 67 percent of the Republicans polled said he was ready to be commander in chief, the highest percentage of the top five candidates. 

Iowa Republicans were more split on Trump and Carson's readiness. 

For Trump, 49 percent said he was ready to be commander in chief while 39 percent didn't think so. 

On Carson, 43 percent of voters said he was ready to lead, while 38 said no. 

Surprisingly, it was a candidate with government experience who polled the worst when this question was asked. 

Only 38 percent of GOP voters felt that Jeb Bush was ready to be commander in chief, while 46 percent thought not – showing that experience, along with likability and popularity, are tied together when voters are asked to answer this question. 

About a quarter – 21 percent – of Iowa Republicans said the terrorist attacks in Paris played into their preference, while 22 percent said the attacks somewhat helped them choose a candidate.

Thirty-six percent said the attacks had no bearing.

These factors could be leading voters to now choose Cruz.  

Handling ISIS also gets the largest percentage of voters to say they'd need a candidate who they agree with on that issue at 71 percent. 

Immigration is the topic that comes in next at 61 percent. While 54 percent of GOP voters said they'd need a candidate to agree with them on same-sex marriage and 39 percent said they'd only support a candidate who they agreed with on matters of religion and faith. 

George Stephanopoulos, interviewing Carson this morning on ABC's This Week, asked the retired neurosurgeon about the Iowa poll. 

'Are you worried about the fact that you may be losing steam there?' the journalist asked.  

Carson didn't seem too concerned.  

 'Well, you know, it's a marathon, it's not a sprint,' he said. 'So there's going to be ups and downs as we go along the way. That's why we have an elongated process rather than just a week or two.' 

And there's some good news in the poll for Carson too. 

He's the only candidate that a majority of voters said they'd invite to Thanksgiving. 

And the candidate who would be the least wanted at a Thanksgiving feast? 

Again, that award goes to Gov. Bush.  

  

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