Cruz Opens Up a Dizzying 10-Point Lead Over Trump

'Des Moines Register' poll has seen Texan gain 21 points since October
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2015 6:03 AM CST
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks to supporters at the Crossroads Shooting Sports gun shop on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, in Johnston, Iowa.   (Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register via AP)
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(Newser) – Bad news for Donald Trump in Iowa, where Ted Cruz last week stole his polling thunder—registering a five-point lead among likely caucusgoers—and is currently continuing to open up that spread in what a pollster calls a "big shakeup." Cruz now has a 10-point lead in the latest Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll out Saturday night, polling at a hefty 31% in what the Register notes is "a 21 percentage-point leap that smashes records for upsurges in recent Iowa caucuses history." Cruz's dizzying rise came fast: He was polling at just 10% in October. His success comes at the expense of Ben Carson, who topped the October poll at 28% in October, and has since seen his support plunge 15 points. Time is finally beginning to run out, with the caucuses seven weeks away, notes Politico.

Following Cruz in the poll: Trump at 21%, Carson at 13%, Marco Rubio at 10%, Jeb Bush at 6%, and the rest of the pack coming in at 3% or less. That's bad news for Rand Paul, who needed a 6% showing to keep him from being booted from the main stage at Tuesday's Republican debate in Las Vegas. But Cruz could keep climbing, notes the Register, with 20% of those polled naming him as their No. 2 choice, giving him 51% when first- and second-choice candidates are combined. "It's certainly possible that he could win Iowa big—very big," an expert says.

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