Donald Trump is back in the lead in Iowa. According to a new CBS News poll, 30% of Republicans in the state now support him.
Ben Carson, who was tied with Trump a month ago, has slipped to third.
The terrorist attacks in Paris appear to be the reason. Conservatives are looking for candidates who show the knowledge, passion, and determination to destroy ISIS. Carson, a friendly, upright man, is not a conservative powerhouse, and his knowledge and moral clarity about foreign policy do not compare with the two candidates now ahead of him.
Trump is not an expert either, but he leaves no questions regarding his intentions for ISIS. He is determined to crush the terror group, he knows that overwhelming military force is the only option, and he has shown no interest in playing games with the media over political correctness — over feelings — when discussing homeland security.
Conservative voters are obviously prioritizing this issue, as Cruz’s rise in Iowa is accompanied by the finding that they have even more confidence in Cruz than in Trump as a future commander-in-chief:
While Iowa’s Republicans generally feel Trump is ready to be commander-in-chief, Cruz scores even better on this measure, boosted by support from very conservative and Tea Party Iowans who feel he is ready to assume the post. That’s more than say so about Trump, Carson, Rubio and Jeb Bush.
Evangelicals, Tea Party supporters, older voters, and voters who describe themselves as “very conservative” are increasingly identifying Cruz to be the most conservative and knowledgeable candidate in the race. Support for Cruz is growing quickly — he could soon pose a threat to Trump in Iowa. Those “very conservative” voters were already on board with Cruz’s campaign, and now he is catching up among other groups.
Yesterday, Roger L. Simon wondered whether anyone can stop Trump as long as terrorism-related news dominates the headlines. Ted Cruz is not able to surpass Trump yet, but in Iowa he is definitely gaining ground during this focus on homeland security.