A new poll released today by Fox News has Donald Trump leading in Iowa and New Hampshire just weeks away from the two key early state contests. The poll shows that Trump has retaken a double-digit lead over Ted Cruz in Iowa, and maintains a fairly strong lead over all competitors in New Hampshire.
According to the Fox News poll trump leads the Republican field in Iowa with 34 percent of the vote. Ted Cruz comes in second with 23 percent of the vote followed by Marco Rubio in third with 12 percent. All other candidates are polling at 7 percent or below. The Iowa Caucus is now just 8 days away, and poll tend to be more accurate closer to the actual voting. At this point it appears Trump has the advantage in Iowa which would be a major blow to the Cruz campaign that was leading in the state a couple of weeks ago.
The Fox News poll in Iowa was conducted from January 18-January 21, 2016. The sample includes 378 likely Republican Caucus participants in Iowa. That is a fairly small sample, and the poll has a large margin-of-error equal to +/- 5.0 percentage points.
According to a poll of likely New Hampshire primary voters Donald Trump holds a large lead there with 31 percent of the vote, compared to 14 percent for Ted Cruz. Marco Rubio places third with 13 percent, and Chris Christie and Jeb Bush have just 7 percent of the vote despite committing nearly all his resources to New Hampshire. All other candidates are polling at 5 percent or below in New Hampshire.
The Fox News poll in New Hampshire was conducted from January 18-21, 2016. The sample includes 401 likely Republican voters in New Hampshire. Like the Iowa poll, the Fox News New Hampshire poll has a fairly small sample size which gives it a large margin of error of +/-5.0 percentage points.
Analyst Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight gives Fox News a C+ rating in his ranking of pollsters based on partially on Fox News’ performance over 34 released surveys. That is a relatively low rating compared to many other pollsters releasing results in the 2016 presidential election cycle.
The Fox News poll matches up well with other polls that show Trump regaining a lead in Iowa after once trailing Cruz. A Real Clear Politics average of five polls released over the last month weeks has Trump leading the Republican field with the support of 32.2 percent of Iowa Republican voters. Cruz comes in second with 27.0 percent of the Iowa Republican vote, and Rubio places third with 12.2 percent. The last three released polls all have Trump leading, and two of them have Trump with a double-digit lead. On January 7th Fox News had Cruz with a small lead in Iowa along with other pollsters, so there is now a clear trend of Trump reversing the Cruz momentum.
The Fox News poll in New Hampshire also matches up well with other polls that show Trump with a dominant lead and other candidates fighting over second place. A Real Clear Politics average of five polls released over the last month has Trump as the leader in New Hampshire with 32.2 percent of the vote. Ted Cruz comes in a distant second with 12.6 percent support, followed by Kasich in third with 12.0 percent, and Marco Rubio in fourth with 11.2 percent. The New Hampshire primary is still two weeks away, so candidates like Rubio or Kasich have some hope that the moderate vote will unite behind him. However, if Trump wins Iowa the positive coverage may give him a bump in New Hampshire.
Many predicted that as more voters started paying attention and the primary contests drew near Donald Trump’s support would dwindle and the more established, traditional candidates would take the lead. So far Trump has maintained and even strengthened his lead nationally among Republican voters. In previous elections candidates like Rudy Giuliana, Newt Gingrich, and Fred Thompson have led in the polls in December or early January only to lose Iowa and New Hampshire in the final weeks. At least thus far, the polls do not show the same trend happening with Trump.
This new poll shows that Trump is maintaining his lead in New Hampshire and retaking a leader position in Iowa. None of the establishment candidates, like Marco Rubio, seem able to threaten Trump in one of these early states. Ted Cruz once represented a real threat to Trump, but now Cruz seems to be losing support in these critical weeks just before Iowa and New Hampshire. If Trump can win both Iowa and New Hampshire it may create a surge of unstoppable momentum for him heading into bigger primary states like Florida.