- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Businessman Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson are running first and second among the 2016 GOP field in Iowa, according to a Loras College poll released this week.

Mr. Trump was the top choice among likely Republican caucus-goers at about 25 percent, followed by Mr. Carson at 18 percent, the poll said.

“I have heard Donald Trump himself say that it is the ‘summer of Trump,’ and our latest poll seems to confirm that here in Iowa,” said Christopher Budzisz, associate professor of Politics and director of the Loras College Poll. “Beyond Trump’s meteoric rise, the climb of another unconventional candidate, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, is every bit as noteworthy.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was third at about 10 percent, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at about 7 percent, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at about 6 percent and businesswoman Carly Fiorina at about 5 percent.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida were both at about 4 percent, followed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 3 percent and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at about 2 percent apiece.

Mr. Carson had the highest favorability rating of anyone in the Republican field at about 73 percent, with 10 percent reporting an unfavorable opinion of him. And when first and second choices were combined, he was percentage points ahead of Mr. Trump.

“Iowa has historically been receptive to those outside the typical mold of ‘politician,’ and we may be seeing a repeat of that this year. But, time is not always kind to the summer front-runners,” Mr. Budzisz said.

About 63 percent said they agree with the statement: “I don’t like what national Republican leaders are doing, and we need to change the party leadership.” That’s compared to about 26 percent who sided more with the statement: “I generally approve of the job performance of national Republican leaders, and we need to support them.”

“There is a significant part of the electorate that is critical of the party establishment as our poll shows, and it may be that part of the Trump and Carson support is fueled by that anti-establishment sentiment,” Mr. Budzisz said. “You do hear people say they are tired of politics as usual, and I would say that having Donald Trump as the party front-runner is certainly unusual.”

The poll taken Aug. 24-27 includes 502 likely Republican caucus-goers, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.37 percent.

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