- The Washington Times - Monday, December 7, 2015

For the first time in the 2016 presidential race, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is the top pick of likely GOP caucus-goers in Iowa, according to a Monmouth University poll.

The survey released Monday showed Mr. Cruz leading the pack with 24 percent, followed by businessman Donald J. Trump with 19 percent and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida with 17 percent.

The poll is rounded out by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, 13 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 6 percent, and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, 4 percent. Carly Fiorina and Ohio Gov. John Kasich each grabbed 3 percent support.

Mr. Cruz recently won the endorsement of Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who is popular among conservative activists. He is leading among evangelical voters, who traditionally comprise about half of the voter turnout for the caucuses, scheduled for Feb. 1.

“This marks the first time Ted Cruz has held a lead in any of the crucial early states. As Ben Carson’s stock has fallen, Cruz has been able to corral most of those voters,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. “Congressman King’s endorsement may not be the primary reason for this swing, but it certainly put a stamp on the Cruz surge in Iowa.”

Since October, Mr. Cruz’s support has increased 14 percentage points, while Mr. Rubio’s support has climbed 7 percentage points.

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