A new Quinnipiac University poll of likely GOP Iowa caucus goers shows Ben Carson jumping out to a 7 point lead over Donald Trump. This is the topline:
What is interesting here is that most of the movement in the poll was churn between Carson and Trump. The fact that the net of Carson-Trump-Fiorina remains unchanged at 53% reinforces my belief that there is a bloc of voters out there who are exclusively looking at ‘outsiders’. The other notable item is a surge by Rubio, gaining 8 points. Superficially, it looks like that Rubio picket up the 4 points that in September went to Walker and Perry. The aggregate changes, in both percentages and rank order are below:
As always we are interested in the “no way, Jose” voters who have ruled out particular candidates.
The ‘winners’ are Jeb Bush and Donald Trump, though Trump has shown surprising growth. Oddly enough, though, Bush is more unpopular than Trump. He is the only GOP candidate underwater with likely caucus goers:
This poll echoes what we are seeing in other polls. There is a core group of GOP voters this year who are intent upon nominating someone from outside the political mainstream. Their candidates are Carson, Trump, and Fiorina. We can expect that number to churn between them and unless some of their support falls away to ‘traditional’ candidates one of them will take the nomination.
The remainder of the field is a two-man race between Rubio and Cruz. Bush is widely disliked by GOP voters and it is doubtful that he can even buy the election. The natural home for voters who are Bush, Kasich, etc., voters is [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] and he is benefiting from their defection.
The wild card is [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ]. If one of the major non-traditional candidates, i.e. Carson or Trump, falters [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] is their logical second choice.