Iowa poll: Cruz rises to third place, Bush sinks behind Jindal

PPP’s newest Iowa poll finds a tight race on the Republican side in the state with Donald Trump at 22%, Ben Carson at 21%, Ted Cruz at 14%, Marco Rubio at 10%, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal each at 6%, and Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina each at 5%. Polling further back are Chris Christie at 3%, John Kasich, Rand Paul, and Rick Santorum each at 2%, Lindsey Graham with less than 1%, and Jim Gilmore and George Pataki each with no supporters.

Compared to our last Iowa poll in mid-September Trump’s support is down 2 points (from 24% to 22%), while Carson’s support is up 4 points (from 17% to 21%) putting them in the deadlock. The big gainer from a month ago is Ted Cruz though. He’s gone from 8% to 14%, and also seen his favorability rating improve from 51/23 to 62/16. Cruz is now leading the field in Iowa among Tea Party voters (34% to 24% for Trump and 22% for Carson), and voters who identify themselves as ‘very conservative’ (24% to 22% for Carson and 21% for Trump.)…

Besides Cruz and Carson the gainers compared to our last Iowa poll, each of whom went up 2 points, are Rubio (from 8% to 10%), Jindal (from 4% to 6%), and Christie (from 1% to 3%). Jindal (60/18) and Rubio (60/20) have the highest favorability ratings of any candidate in Iowa other than Carson and Cruz. Even though he’s still lagging pretty far back in the polls Christie’s had an amazing transformation in his image over the last two and a half months. When we polled Iowa in August right after the first Republican debate, only 34% of Republicans in the state had a favorable opinion of him to 44% who held a negative one. Now 48% see him favorably to 28% with an unfavorable opinion of him, for an overall net 30 point gain. It’s been quite a turn around.