Two more polls show Ben Carson pulling away from Donald Trump in Iowa

Difficult to caucus successfully when 28% of Iowans say they would never vote for Trump vs. only 4% for Carson

Scott Eric Kaufman
October 26, 2015 8:29PM (UTC)

During his live town-hall meeting on Today Monday morning, GOP hopeful Donald Trump claimed that while he knows there are some polls that have Ben Carson ahead of him in Iowa, he doesn't believe those polls are accurate.

"I think I'm winning in Iowa," he said. "I don't believe I did fall behind." Two more polls were released Monday -- one by Monmouth University, the other by Loras College -- and it stands to reason that Trump isn't going to believe them either, as both indicate that Carson holds double-digit leads over Trump among likely caucus participants.


The Monmouth University poll shows Iowa Republicans support Ben Carson by 14 points over Trump at 32 percent to 18 percent, compared to the two having been tied at 23 percent as recently as August. Carson's 9-point gain was the largest among potential candidates, while Trump and Carly Fiorina suffered the greatest losses at 5 percent.

The retired neurosurgeon is benefiting from a surge of support among Iowa evangelicals -- with 36 percent supporting him, compared to 18 percent for Trump -- which may explain why the reality television star attacked Carson's Seventh-day Adventist beliefs over the weekend.

The Loras College poll found that likely GOP caucus participants only favored Carson over Trump by 12 points -- 30 percent to 18 percent -- but when asked to choose their second option, that margin narrowed to 10 points, which is still two points behind Marco Rubio as the top second-choice candidate. Rubio also had a strong showing as a first-ballot candidate, coming in at 10 percent as well.


However, Trump did significantly worse than his fellow potential candidates when it came to whether caucus participants "would absolutely not vote" for him. Twenty-eight percent of likely GOP participants indicated that they would never for him, compared to only four percent who said they would never for Carson.

Poll: Hillary Clinton Leads, Ben Carson Is Gaining

Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at

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2016 Gop Primary Aol_on Ben Carson Donald Trump Elections 2016 Iowa Marco Rubio

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