Real-estate mogul Donald Trump has leapt ahead of Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the last weekend before the Iowa caucus, according to a Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll released Saturday, as the gap between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders continues to narrow.
28 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers said they would support the bombastic businessman as their first choice, with Cruz drawing 23 percent and Florida Senator Marco Rubio in third place with 15 percent. Cruz led in the same poll in early January, suggesting that Trump’s constant barrage of attacks on the senator have taken a toll.
Trump’s supporters also appear to be the most enthusiastic among Republican caucus-goers, with 71 percent saying their minds are made up in favor of the candidate, compared to 61 percent of Cruz supporters and 47 percent of Rubio supporters. 53 percent of Rubio’s supporters indicated that they could still be persuaded by alternatives.
But among second-choice candidates, Rubio leads the pack at 20 percent, followed by Cruz at 17 percent, former neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 11 percent, and Trump at 7 percent, suggesting either Cruz or Rubio could leap ahead to first place on Monday night.