- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 13, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz has surged past Donald Trump and opened up a 10-point lead in the early caucus state of Iowa, according to a new poll released Sunday.

Mr. Cruz led the field with 31 percent of the vote among likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa, followed by Mr. Trump with 21 percent, according to the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll.

The results confirm that Mr. Cruz has replaced Mr. Trump as the front-runner in the Hawkeye State. It is the third consecutive survey to give Mr. Cruz the advantage, but also the largest lead yet for the Texas senator, who has aggressively courted the state’s conservative and evangelical voters.

Mr. Cruz led Mr. Trump by two points, 28 percent to 26 percent, in a Fox News poll released Sunday, and by five points, 24 percent to 19 percent, in a Monmouth University poll last week.

In the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson placed third at 13 percent, followed by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 10 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 6 percent.

The rest of the crowded field garnered low single digits in the poll.

Mr. Trump continues to be out in front in national polls, but his lead is shrinking.

The billionaire businessman and reality TV star led nationally with 27 percent, followed by Mr. Cruz at 22 percent, according to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday.

Mr. Rubio placed third at 15 percent, followed by Mr. Carson at 11 percent, Mr. Bush at 7 percent and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina at 5 percent. The rest finished in the low single digits.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton remained the favorite to win the nomination, with double-digit leads nationally and in Iowa.

However, several recent polls have shown Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders in the lead in the early primary state of New Hampshire. He led Mrs. Clinton by 10 points, 50 percent to 40 percent, in a CNN/WMUR poll last week in the Granite State.

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