Republicans Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are in a dead heat for the Republican nomination in Iowa, but the real estate mogul has a commanding lead over his rivals in New Hampshire, a Marist Poll released Sunday indicated. Cruz and Trump were separated by just 4 percentage points in Iowa ahead of the Feb. 1 caucuses, with the margin of error at 1.8 percentage points.
On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led in Iowa, but Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont was ahead in New Hampshire.
The poll of 3,033 adults in Iowa Jan. 2-7 showed Cruz, R-Texas, leading Trump 28 percent to 24 percent. Behind the two leaders were Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., at 13 percent, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 11 percent, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., at 5 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 4 percent, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 3 percent, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina at 3 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 2 percent and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 2 percent.
“Cruz does better among likely GOP caucus-goers in Iowa who support the Tea Party, identify as conservative, are white Evangelical Christians, are men or [are] college graduates,” the pollster said. “Trump is ahead among those who do not practice a religion, those who are unmarried and moderates.”
In New Hampshire, where 2,059 adults were polled Jan. 2-7, Trump had a commanding 30 percent support among those queried ahead of the Feb. 9 primary. He was followed by Rubio at 14 percent, Christie at 12 percent and Cruz at 10 percent. Bush and Kasich polled 9 percent, Paul, 5 percent, Carson, 4 percent, and Fiorina, 3 percent. Huckabee had less than 1 percent. The margin of error was pegged at 2.2 percent.
On the Democratic side in Iowa, Clinton led Sanders 48 percent to 45 percent, with former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley polling at 5 percent. But in New Hampshire, Sanders led Clinton 50 percent to 46 percent, with O’Malley trailing at 1 percent.
“These polls go up; they go down. I stay pretty focused,” Hillary Clinton said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“Among likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa, Clinton has a 15 point lead among Democrats while Sanders has a 33 point margin among independents,” the pollster said. “Clinton has a wide lead over Sanders among likely Democratic caucus-goers who are 45 or older. Sanders has a more than two-to-one lead over Clinton among those under 45 who plan to caucus. A gender gap exists. Clinton lags behind with 39 percent among men but receives majority support, 56 percent, among women.”
In the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, Trump leads Cruz 34 percent to 20.7 percent and Clinton leads Sanders 52.8 percent to 33.3 percent. The average of Iowa polls shows Cruz leading Trump 30.2 percent to 27.4 percent while Clinton leads Sanders 49.4 percent to 38.8 percent. In New Hampshire, the average indicates Trump leading Rubio 31 percent to 13.3 percent and Sanders leading Clinton 48 percent to 43.3 percent.