Cruz Catapults to Top in Iowa in New Poll, Leapfrogging Trump
Ted Cruz has officially surpassed Donald Trump in Iowa.
The two candidates have been squaring off in the recent weeks. In the latest Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll, Cruz secured 31 percent of the vote to Trump’s 21 percent.
For months, Trump has led the Republicans and the last candidate to surpass him in the polls, if only momentarily, was Ben Carson during his climb.
NBC News reports:
Since October, Cruz has wrapped up a collection of big endorsements, including influential radio personality Steve Deace, U.S. Rep. Steve King and Bob Vander Plaats, a social-conservative, evangelical leader in the state.
But striking from the poll is the Trump and Cruz’s combined majority of support in the still large Republican field. Ted Cruz has consistently refused to criticize the real estate mogul, calling him a “good friend” and refusing to “blast” him. Cruz’s tactic runs in deep contrast to a Republican field that has struggled to gain traction despite efforts to knock Trump from the top of the polls.
But in the last two weeks, Cruz — Trump’s closest ally — took his first steps toward offering up a contrast to the wildcard candidate, saying two weeks ago in Iowa that he didn’t believe Trump would become president and that he “did not agree” with his plan to temporarily ban the immigration of Muslims into the U.S.
Trump, after first offering praise for Cruz, fired back on Friday night — although in a gentler manner than his past attacks on other GOP rivals.
“The one guy that’s going pretty good with me in Iowa is Ted Cruz. He’s a nice guy,” Trump told a town hall in Des Moines. “But with the ethanol, really it’s — he’s got to come a long way cause he’s right now for the oil.”
The attack was intended to hit Cruz for his opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard, which is seen as a major economic boon for Iowa corn farmers. It requires the U.S. fuel supply to use a certain amount of ethanol.
Trump also on Friday night foreshadowed a poor polling result, telling the crowd: “Every time the Des Moines Register does a poll, I always do badly.” He added, “I only like polls that treat me well.”
Photo credit: The Hill.