There are only eight days until we kick off the primary season with the Iowa caucus. New polls by Fox News and Reuters/Ipsos show a commanding lead for Donald Trump despite major conservative opposition. Trump is also gaining, and taking the lead, in Iowa, with former frontrunner Ted Cruz still putting up a strong challenge. Marco Rubio, once the betting favorite nationally and the longtime New Hampshire polling runner-up, is slipping in New Hampshire polls, including the latest. Trump retains the New Hampshire lead despite surges from John Kasich and Cruz in polls released Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. Trump also holds the national betting lead, as aggregated by PredictWise.
Here’s a look at the state of the race:
The most recent poll by CNN shows Trump with an 11-point lead on Cruz, 37 percent to 26 percent, with Rubio the only other candidate in double digits at 14. While this poll is an outlier, it is the first to include a significant period following Iowa governor Terry Branstad’s announced opposition to Cruz and former Alaska governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Trump. A potentially critical result from deeper in the poll: while CNN controlled for “likely caucus-goers,” when only including those who recently had caucused, Cruz led 30 percent to Trump’s 28.
The RealClearPolitics averages show Trump with a 2.6-point lead over Cruz at 29 to 26.4 percent, with Rubio running third at 11 percent and Carson fourth at 8.5.
Iowa Polling Averages (by RealClearPolitics)
FiveThirtyEight, which takes more than polls into account for its “polls-plus” forecast, shows Cruz dropping to a 48 percent chance of taking Iowa, still the favorite but no longer odds-on. Trump climbs to 36 percent, with Rubio rising to 11. The polls-only forecast, which weights polls based on methodology and past accuracy, favors Trump with a 50 percent chance, compared to 39 for Cruz and single digits for everyone else.
FiveThirtyEight Polls-Plus Model
In the as aggregated by Predictwise, Trump is the odds-on favorite at 57 percent. Cruz drops to 38 percent, with Rubio taking 4 percent and Carson and Jeb Bush tied with 1.
Click the “next page” button below for New Hampshire and national polling roundup, as well as a discussion of today’s news.