Ben Carson has surged into the lead among Iowa Republicans, a new Quinnipiac University poll said Thursday.
Carson bumped national front-runner Donald Trump, who had led in Iowa polls last month. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon with strong appeal to the state’s conservative evangelical voters, had 28 percent, while the real estate mogul had 20 percent. Iowa holds the nation’s first presidential caucus February 1.
“It’s Ben Carson’s turn in the spotlight,” said Peter Brown, assistant Quinnipiac University Poll director.
Carson got a lot of help from women, and his image was sterling. Eighty-four percent of Republicans said he shared their values while nine of 10 said he was honest and trustworthy. He had a 33 to 13 advantage over Trump among women.
“To borrow the line from Madison Avenue, ‘Almost no one doesn’t like Ben Carson,’’’ Brown said.
There was some encouraging news for Trump. He led six national polls this month. And in Iowa, he was far ahead of Carson when voters were asked who could best handle the economy, taxes and illegal immigration. Carson tops Trump for his ability to handle social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
Third in the October 14 to 20 poll was Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., at 13 percent, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, at 10 percent.
Some big names were deep in single digits. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., whose father Ron ran third in the 2012 Iowa caucus, had 6 percent, while former business executive Carly Fiorina and Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, each had 5 percent.