Is the tide turning against Donald Trump in Iowa? According to the latest Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll, the answer is clearly “yes.”
The billionaire businessman and loose cannon extraordinaire has fallen to second place in the poll with 21 percent. He picked up 2 percentage points since the last poll, but is trailing Ted Cruz by 10 percentage points. The senator from Texas is now the favorite of 31 percent of likely Republican voters in Iowa.
There are two stories here. The first is that Trump seems to have reached his peak in Iowa. The second story is Cruz’s amazing surge. The senator is rapidly ascending; he has experienced a 21-point leap since the last DMR/Bloomberg poll. No other candidate in history has seen such a big surge in such a short amount of time.
The main reason for Cruz’s rapid ascent is that evangelical and Tea Party conservatives are flocking to him. Jamie Johnson, an Iowa political operative, explains that there’s another reason he’s doing so well while Trump is stuck:
Iowa’s 11th commandment is thou shalt be nice. Donald Trump has violated this commandment one too many times. Now he is paying the price.
Considering how Trump talks about the Bible and Christianity in general, he probably doesn’t even know the meaning of the word “commandment.” It’s not exactly shocking that he routinely violates one. Or two.
After the poll results were announced, Cruz took to Facebook to thank his supporters.
And The Donald? Well, let’s just say he responded slightly less graciously:
New CNN Iowa poll — Trump 33, Cruz 20. Everyone else way down! Don’t trust Des Moines Register poll- biased towards Trump!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2015
This is par for the course with Trump. He’s always criticizing everyone and everything unless they say he’s in the lead. Then they’re suddenly the best, most terrific and most reliable poll agencies or news outlets in the country. You’d laugh if it wasn’t so incredibly sad.
It’s likely that Trump will become even more unhinged in the weeks and months ahead. According to the Des Moines Register, chances are that Cruz will continue to surge:
And there are signs Cruz may not have peaked in Iowa yet. Another 20 percent of likely caucusgoers say he’s their current second choice for president. Cruz hits 51 percent support when first- and second-choice interest is combined, again leading the field.
As Fox News’ Frank Luntz points out:
It’s certainly possible that he could win Iowa big — very big.
In recent days and weeks, Cruz has been endorsed by very influential conservative leaders in Iowa such as evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats and Congressman Steve King. When endorsing Cruz, the former said that “Ted Cruz has a titanium spine,” adding that the senator “is a bold and courageous leader.”
Considering Vander Plaats’ influence in Iowa, it’s very likely that his endorsement of Cruz will result in Cruz garnering even more support in the days and weeks leading up to the Iowa caucuses.
And that means that Ted Cruz has now officially become the favorite in Iowa.