Barry McNamara  |   Published November 03, 2015

Carson, Clinton lead

Monmouth College/KBUR poll identifies Iowa frontrunners with three months left
In the first Iowa poll results since the third Republican debate, Ben Carson and Donald Trump are still running first and second while Ted Cruz has broken ahead of the remaining pack to third place and within striking distance of Trump, according to a poll conducted by Monmouth College and Burlington, Iowa, radio station KBUR-AM.
  On the Democrat side, the poll shows that Hillary Clinton continues to hold a comfortable lead over Bernie Sanders in Iowa, although her advantage decreased somewhat from her previous levels of support. Clinton leads Sanders 46 to 32 percent among likely caucus-goers, with 5 percent for Martin O’Malley and 17 percent undecided.   “Clinton enjoys a healthy lead going into the final three months of the Iowa campaign,” said Monmouth political science lecturer Robin Johnson, host of the “Talking Politics” show on KBUR. “But she still hasn’t sealed the deal among some key demographic groups, including women and seniors.”   Carson leads among likely Iowa caucus-goers at 28 percent followed by Trump at 20. Cruz is in third place at 15 percent while Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are nearly tied at 10 and 9, respectively.   Among the rest of the GOP field, Carly Fiorina is in sixth place at 4 percent, followed by Chris Christie, Rand Paul and Bobby Jindal at 2 percent each. Rick Santorum and John Kasich are at 1 percent each and the other candidates (Mike Huckabee, Jim Gilmore, George Pataki, and Lindsay Graham) are all under 0.5 percent. Four percent of voters were undecided.   “Republican voters seem to be sorting the race down to five candidates as we move closer to caucus day on Feb. 1,” said Johnson. “Ted Cruz is the only candidate who has improved his standing since the debate,” observed Johnson.   Cruz doubled his percentage since the first Monmouth College/KBUR poll in June and was about 5 points better than the Real Clear Politics (RCP) average and 6 points higher than the Huffington Post trend.   Other key takeaways from the poll include:
  • Clinton is 10 points better among men than women, while Sanders’ support by gender is stable. Women are more undecided than men by a 2 to 1 margin.
  • There is a clear difference by age, with Sanders leading by nearly a 2 to 1 margin among voters under 34 and Clinton doing much better among voters over 34. She leads by a 3 to 1 margin among voters 55-64. She leads among voters 65 and older, but they represent the highest share of undecided voters by age (28 percent).
  • Carson runs about 6 points better among women than men while Trump runs about 4 points better among men than women.
  • Carson has the outright lead in all regions of the state and is tied with Trump in the north central and west central regions. In the KBUR listening area (southeast Iowa), Carson has his highest number (39), followed by Trump (23) and Cruz (14).
Like the previous Monmouth College/KBUR poll, this one also asked a pop culture question. Respondents were asked which social media platform they used most often. Facebook was far and away the most used social media at 53 percent for Democratic respondents and 47 percent among Republicans.   The Republican and Democratic surveys were conducted Oct. 29-31 by Douglas Fulmer & Associates. The third and final Monmouth College/KBUR presidential poll in Iowa will be conducted in January prior to the Iowa caucuses. 
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