- The Washington Times - Friday, November 6, 2015

Real estate mogul Donald Trump has retained an edge over retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson in Iowa in a poll taken after last week’s GOP presidential debate that also showed Mr. Carson and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida gain ground on Mr. Trump since August.

Mr. Trump was at 25 percent in the CNN/ORC poll released Friday, followed by Mr. Carson at 23 percent, Mr. Rubio at 13 percent, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 11 percent.

Mr. Trump actually picked up 3 points of support since August, when he was at 22 percent. But his 2-point lead over Mr. Carson was down from August, when he had an 8-point, 22 percent to 14 percent lead over the retired doctor.

Mr. Rubio’s support increased 8 points since August, from 5 percent, and Mr. Cruz’s support picked up 3 points, from 8 percent.

By wide margins, voters also said Mr. Trump would do the best job handling the economy and illegal immigration, and gave him smaller edges on handling foreign policy and government programs like Medicare and Social Security.

They also said Mr. Trump has the best chance of winning in the general election next November and that he is most likely to be an effective president.

Voters said Mr. Carson, meanwhile, would do the best job handling social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, and that he “best represents the values of Republicans like yourself.”

Mr. Carson also had an edge over Mr. Trump among white evangelical Christians, 31 percent to 20 percent.

In the poll released Friday, Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was at 5 percent, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal were at 4 percent each, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was at 3 percent.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky were tied at 2 percent each.

Mr. Huckabee, who had been at 7 percent in August, saw the biggest decline, a 5-point drop in support. Mr. Huckabee, the winner of the 2008 Iowa caucuses, has been relegated to the “undercard” GOP debate in Wisconsin on Tuesday because he did not secure a high enough average in recent national polling.

Mr. Christie has also been bumped to the earlier forum Tuesday after being on the main stage in the first three GOP debates.

Support for Mrs. Fiorina in the CNN poll dropped 3 points, from 7 percent, and support for Mr. Paul also dropped 3 points, from 5 percent.

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