- The Washington Times - Monday, November 23, 2015

Billionaire businessman Donald Trump has regained a solid grip on the lead over the rest of the 2016 GOP pack in Iowa and has large leads in the early states of New Hampshire and South Carolina, according to new polling on the Republican field.

Mr. Trump was at 30 percent in Iowa, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 21 percent, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 19 percent, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 11 percent, according to the CBS News/YouGov poll.

In a CBS poll taken in October, Mr. Trump and Mr. Carson had been tied at 27 percent apiece, followed by Mr. Cruz at 12 percent and Mr. Rubio at 9 percent.

In New Hampshire, Mr. Trump was at 32 percent, followed by Mr. Rubio at 13 percent, Mr. Carson and Mr. Cruz at 10 percent apiece, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 8 percent.

In a CBS poll taken last month, Mr. Trump had been at 38 percent, followed by Mr. Carson at 12 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 8 percent, and Mr. Rubio and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina at 7 percent apiece.

And in South Carolina, Mr. Trump was at 35 percent, followed by Mr. Carson at 19 percent, Mr. Rubio at 16 percent, and Mr. Cruz at 13 percent.

In a CBS poll last month, Mr. Trump had been at 40 percent, followed by Mr. Carson at 23 percent, Mr. Cruz at 8 percent, and Mr. Rubio at 7 percent.

Polls on Iowa and New Hampshire are being used by CNN to determine which candidates qualify for the next GOP debate, to be held Dec. 15 in Las Vegas.

Candidates who average at least 3.5 percent in national polling — or at least 4 percent in either Iowa or New Hampshire — will qualify for the main debate stage.

Six candidates — Mr. Trump, Mr. Carson, Mr. Rubio, Mr. Cruz, Mr. Bush, and Mrs. Fiorina — are all at 3.5 percent or higher in the latest national RealClearPolitics average.

An additional three candidates — Mr. Kasich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky — are above 4 percent in the latest RCP average on New Hampshire.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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