A brand new CNN/ORC Iowa poll show that Trump still has what it takes to lead the GOP field, but there is a surprise in the second spot.
According to respondents of the poll, possible Iowa voters said that if the caucus was held today, not surprisingly, Trump would clearly win Iowa with 22% of the vote.
The real news is who got the second and third in the Hawkeye state. Ben Carson came in second with 14% of those responding to the poll and Scott Walker held on to third with 9%.
Most recent polls show Walker dropping into the middle tier of candidates and Carson just rising out of the “unknowns” in the third tier. Seeing Dr. Carson rise to a leadership position in the polls is statistically surprising, but perhaps not from a political perspective.
Carson’s performance in the recent Fox News/Facebook poll started out to be incredibly average. But he finished with an amazing closing statement that must have caught the attention of Iowa voters. A series of appearances on the news networks have all shown his command of the issues and ability to explain his positions. This poll shows that Dr. Carson is not to be written off any time soon.
Walker is likely benefiting from his home state of Wisconsin being so close to Iowa. His values and style reverberate with Iowans and he is not a candidate to be taken lightly in Iowa. His ability to extend that to a national campaign is looking less likely with every national poll.
Trump showed strong in the poll on the economy, terrorism and illegal immigration while Carson beat out Donald on abortion and “republican values”,
Now, as usual, it’s time to break the candidates out into the CDN T3 system based on the poll analyzed.
Tier One (aiming for the top spot)
The top tier is somewhat different in the Iowa poll than the most recent Rasmussen national poll likely due to regional value differences. Donald Trump continues his hold on the lead spot in Iowa, but the top tier includes Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee . Carson and Huckabee’s entrance into the top tier are the major differences between the CNN/ORC poll and recently released national polls. Huckabee is likely appealing to evangelic Christians in the mid-west while Carson’s rise is not fully understood. Candidates in our top tier are possible contenders for a poll leading spot (or already have it) with only a single event separating them from that possibility.
Tier Two (Sinking and Rising, but still in the mix)
Jeb Bush, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio pulled in 5% of those polled while Chris Chistie managed just 3% support. These candidates are still very viable and will be seeing financial and political support while in this tier. Candidates in this group could move either way in coming weeks with press appearances, advertising or statements. According to this poll, they aren’t in the forefront of most voter’s thoughts, but they haven’t blown it yet.
Tier Three (Running out of support, time and money)
This poll places Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Jim Gilmore and George Pataki in our third tier. All of then candidates in this tier registered 2% or less support from those polled. While the other tiers see candidates moving between them, this one is consistent with recent polls that showed these candidates struggling to get traction. Candidates in the third tier need to get noticed quickly or every resource a campaign needs to be successful, will no longer exist for them.