Ted Cruz has replaced Ben Carson as Donald Trump’s chief GOP presidential primary rival in Iowa.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday shows that Trump is the Republican presidential front-runner in the early voting state, with 25% support among GOP voters likely to participate in Iowa’s February 1 caucuses.
But Cruz, the Texas senator, has moved into second place with 23% support — double the backing he had just four weeks ago. Carson has fallen to third at 18% support, down 10 percentage points from his first-place perch a month ago when he led Trump, 28% to 20%.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is in fourth place with 13% support — the only other candidate in double digits in Tuesday’s poll.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul are tied for fifth place at 5% each and Carly Fiorina at 3%. No other candidate tops 2%.
“Last month, we said it was Dr. Ben Carson’s turn in the spotlight. Today, the spotlight turns to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. The Iowa Republican Caucus has become a two-tiered contest: Businessman Donald Trump and neurosurgeon Ben Carson lead on the outsider track, and Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio lead among party insiders,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll, in a release announcing the results.