- The Washington Times - Monday, January 11, 2016

Businessman Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas are locked in a tight race for first place in Iowa, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll that showed the two 2016 GOP presidential candidates are easily outpacing their closest rivals three weeks out from the state’s caucuses.

Mr. Trump is the top pick of 31 percent of likely Republican caucus goers, compared to 29 percent for Mr. Cruz, the poll showed.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is running third, capturing 15 percent, followed by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, 7 percent, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, 4 percent. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush garnered 3 percent.

“The Iowa Republican Caucuses are tight as a tick entering the final two weeks of the campaign. Voters like Sen. Ted Cruz better than Donald Trump and give him much higher scores for honesty, empathy, experience and for sharing their values,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

“But they see the New York businessman as better able to handle some key issues,” Mr. Brown said. “Trump is way ahead on handling the economy and terrorism.”



“The imbalance in perceived personal qualities may give Cruz a higher ceiling, a key metric entering the home stretch. Only 7 percent of Republicans say they could never vote for Cruz, while 26 percent say no way to Trump,” he said.

The survey found that economy and jobs are the top issue for voters, followed by terrorism, foreign policy, the national deficit and immigration.

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