A new national poll of Republican primary voters indicates that Ben Carson has taken a small lead in the race for the party’s presidential nomination, knocking Donald Trump from a position he has held for months.
Twenty-six percent of likely voters say Carson is their top pick for the nomination, four points ahead of Trump at 22 percent. The poll, conducted by CBS and The New York Times, has shown Trump on top ever since it began surveying voters last July. Out of more than 30 polls tracked on the website RealClearPolitics, this is only the second since early July that doesn’t have Trump in the top spot. The news comes on the heels of a poll giving Carson a big 14-point lead in Iowa, whose caucuses kick off the primary season.
No other Republicans are in double digits in the new poll. Marco Rubio is third with 8 percent support, followed by Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina with 7 percent apiece. Every other candidate is clustered at 4 percent or less.
Carson’s rise is based on picking up more support from just about all groups, but his core base still shows substantial differences with Trump’s. Carson has amassed tremendous support among evangelical voters, who support him over Trump by more than 20 percentage points. Carson is also more popular with women than men, and attracts more conservatives, while Trump appeals more to moderates and those without a college degree.
Carson’s lead could be quite unstable, though. Only 19 percent of his supports say they are firmly committed to backing him, while more than half of Trump’s supporters say the same, meaning the business mogul likely has a firmer base on which to rely.
The poll was conducted from Oct. 21-25 and had a sample size of 575 Republican primary voters. The margin of error was plus or minus 6 percentage points.
Ben Carson has overtaken Donald Trump in Iowa, surging to a 14-point lead, according to a new poll.
A Monmouth University survey released on Monday found Carson taking 32 percent support in Iowa, followed by Trump at 18 percent.
That’s a 9-point gain for Carson from the same poll in late August, while Trump has fallen five points in that time.
The poll found Carson with the best favorability rating in the field, with an astounding 84 percent of Iowa Republicans having a positive view of him, compared to only 7 percent who view him negatively.
Trump’s favorability rating is at 53 percent positive and 38 percent negative. His favorability rating is essentially unchanged from late August, although the percentage of those who view him unfavorably has increased by 5 points in that time.
Trump has led in nearly every poll of Iowa since early August, but the Monmouth survey is the third recent poll to show Carson with a healthy lead over the field in the Hawkeye State.
A Des Moines Register-Bloomberg poll released last week showed Carson with a 9 point lead, and a Quinnipiac University survey found Carson ahead by 8.
Carson is ahead among all demographic groups in Iowa, according to Monmouth. He leads among Republicans who describe themselves as “somewhat” and “very conservative,” as well as self-described moderates.
Carson also leads among evangelicals, non-evangelicals, men and women in the poll.
“Trump’s support has eroded in a number of key areas, with the beneficiary being another outside candidate,” said Monmouth pollster Patrick Murray. “One question is how secure Carson’s new found support really is.”
Only 19 percent of likely Iowa Republican caucus-goers said they have made up their minds on whom to support, giving hope to lower polling candidates.
Rounding out the field are Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), at 10 percent each, and Jeb Bush at 8 percent.
Businesswoman Carly Fiorina take 5 percent support in the poll. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is at 3 percent, while Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal and John Kasich each take 2 percent support.
Outsider candidates such as Trump and Carson, though, appear to have the advantage based on the deep anti-establishment sentiment among likely caucus-goers. Fifty-seven percent said the Republican Party has done a bad job representing their views.
“While the leader board positions have changed, the outsider candidates still dominate this race,” said Murray. “The GOP’s leadership may hope that an establishment figure will emerge, but that may not happen while their voters remain dissatisfied with the party as a whole.”
Bush, Kasich, Paul and Christie are the only candidates with negative favorability ratings in Iowa, according to the poll.
The Monmouth University survey of 400 likely Republican caucus-goers was conducted Oct. 22-25 and has a 4.9 percent margin of error.