The Ben Carson boomlet is fading and the Ted Cruz rise has started, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday. Donald Trump is still in first place in Iowa with 25 percent, but Sen. Cruz (Texas) is at 23 percent, well within the poll's ±4 percentage point margin of error. Carson, who topped Trump in last month's Quinnipiac poll, dropped 10 points to 18 percent, while Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) held steady at 13 percent. Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), at 5 percent, overtook Jeb Bush, who dropped 1 point to 4 percent, and 26 percent of likely Iowa Republican caucus-goers say they "would definitely not support" Bush.
"Last month, we said it was Dr. Ben Carson's turn in the spotlight," said Quinnipiac poll assistant director Peter A. Brown. "Today, the spotlight turns to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. The Iowa Republican Caucus has become a two-tiered contest." Trump and Carson still "lead on the outsider track" and Cruz and Rubio "lead among the party insiders," Brown said, and "the other candidates will need miraculous comebacks to crack the top tier with slightly more than two months before the voting begins." The poll was conducted Nov. 16-22 among 600 likely Iowa Republican caucus participants. Peter Weber