A new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll finds that Trump, the flamboyant real estate entrepreneur, has 23 percent support here. But Ben Carson, a soft-spoken retired neurosurgeon, has been a submarine, quietly cruising into second with 18 percent, just 5 percentage points from the front-runner.
Carson has the highest favorability rating of the 17 Republican candidates, with 79 percent who view him positively. Only 8 percent have negative feelings about him.
All the other candidates are grinding away in the single digits, in this order: Ted Cruz and Scott Walker (both 8 percent), Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio (both 6 percent), Carly Fiorina (5 percent), and Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul (both 4 percent).
“Wow,” said Kedron Bardwell, a political science professor at Simpson College. “This poll will have Republican consultants shaking heads in bewilderment. Not since 1992 has anti-establishment sentiment been this strong.”