Donald Trump has been overtaken by Ben Carson in Iowa, according to a pair of new surveys released Monday.
A slew of recent polls have shown Trump falling behind Carson among Republican voters in Iowa, which holds the crucial slot as the first-nominating state in the presidential process.
A new Monmouth University poll released on Monday found Carson surging to first place, with 32% of likely Republican voters preferring Carson at this point in the race. Trump, who tied Carson in last month’s Monmouth poll, dropped to second, with 18% support.
Another poll released by Loras College on Monday mirrored Monmouth’s findings, with Carson garnering about 31% support to Trump’s 19%.
“Iowa has a new front-runner,” Christopher Budzisz, the director of the Loras College Poll, said in a statement.
Overall, four of the past five Iowa surveys have displayed Carson overtaking Trump by at least 8 points. But a CBS/YouGov poll released Sunday found Trump and Carson still tied, each garnering 27% support.
Carson appears to be benefiting from his sky-high favorability ratings. The retired neurosurgeon remains the most well-liked candidate in almost every major poll in the state. In the latest Monmouth poll, for example, Carson was viewed favorably by 84% of primary voters in the state, compared to the 52% of primary voters who said they see Trump in a positive light.
Pollster J. Ann Selzer, who conducted a Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register survey released last week that found Trump falling to second, said Trump’s slide may be attributable to the state’s evangelical voters coalescing around Carson. According to the Bloomberg survey, Carson’s jump in support among evangelicals in Iowa has coincided with a his recent bump in the polls.
For his part, Trump has dismissed recent polls that show him losing to Carson in the Hawkeye State, saying that he does not believe the results.
“I get these two polls – and remember, I don’t believe them, I don’t believe them – in Iowa. And I love Iowa,” Trump told an audience at a campaign rally in Florida on Saturday.
Trump also remains the front-runner in national GOP polls. He leads Carson by an average of almost 6 points among GOP voters nationally, according to Real Clear Politics.
Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement Monday that Carson’s new front-running status in Iowa will serve as a major test of hid durability.
“Trump’s support has eroded in a number of key areas, with the beneficiary being another outside candidate,” he said. “One question is how secure Carson’s new-found support really is.”