- The Washington Times - Friday, September 11, 2015

Real estate mogul Donald Trump is leading the 2016 GOP field in the early state of Iowa, with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson 6 points behind and the rest of the field well back, according to a poll released Friday.

Mr. Trump was at 27 percent support, followed by Mr. Carson at 21 percent and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 9 percent, a Quinnipiac poll said.

“With five months until the balloting, anything can happen. But the field has become a two-tiered contest — Donald Trump and Ben Carson ahead, and everyone else far behind,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was at 6 percent, followed by former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 5 percent apiece.

A Quinnipiac survey taken in late June had Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the lead at 18 percent, followed by Mr. Trump and Mr. Carson at 10 percent each. Mr. Walker was at 3 percent in the new poll, behind Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 4 percent apiece.

In line with some of the numbers from other polls, likely Republican caucus-goers said by a 79 percent to 15 percent margin that experience outside of Washington, D.C., is better for a president than Washington experience.

“The Iowa Republican Caucus looks like a two-man race in which the Washington experience that has traditionally been a major measuring stick that voters have used to choose candidates is now a big negative,” Mr. Brown said.

“Perhaps even more surprising, given the 17-member field of candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination, is that more than half the votes in the Quinnipiac University poll of likely-GOP caucus-goers are going to three candidates who have never held political office — Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina,” Mr. Brown said.

Mr. Carson was the best-liked of the candidates with a 79 percent/6 percent favorable/unfavorable split. Ms. Fiorina had a 62 percent/8 percent split and Mr. Trump had a 60 percent/35 percent split.

Mr. Trump also topped the “no way” list at 25 percent, followed by Mr. Bush at 23 percent and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 14 percent.

Fifty-six percent said Mr. Trump is honest and trustworthy and 61 percent said he cares about their needs and problems. Eighty-three percent said he has strong leadership qualities, and 52 percent said he has the right temperament and personality to handle an international crisis.

Meanwhile, 88 percent said Mr. Carson is honest and trustworthy and 85 percent said he cares about their needs and problems. Seventy-six percent said he has strong leadership qualities and 72 percent said he has the right personality and temperament to handle an international crisis.

“Trump’s 27-21 percent lead over Carson obscures what appears to be the former surgeon’s stronger growth potential in recruiting new supporters when other candidates leave the race. Carson has a higher favorability rating than Trump and a higher score for honesty and empathy,” Mr. Brown said. “Trump has an edge on leadership, but Carson has a 20-point margin when it comes to having the right temperament and personality to handle an international crisis.”

The survey of 1,038 likely Iowa GOP Caucus participants was taken from from Aug. 27 to Sept. 8 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


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