Donald Trump is having a difficult time accepting the fact he’s no longer the Republican front-runner in Iowa. “I don’t believe those polls, by the way, because both of those pollsters don’t like me,” Trump told a crowd at a Miami campaign event on Friday, referring to a pair of well-respected surveys released last week that showed Ben Carson all alone out in front in the Hawkeye State for the first time this year.
Monday, though, offered yet another Iowa poll that Trump will want to ignore. A new Monmouth University survey has Carson leading the billionaire by 14 points in the state, 32 percent to 18 percent. That’s a significant change from the last time university pollsters surveyed likely GOP caucus-goers at the end of August and found the two men tied for first with 23 percent apiece. Here’s where things stand:
- Ben Carson: 32 percent; up 9 points from August
- Donald Trump: 18 percent: down 5 points from August
- Marco Rubio: 10 percent; up 6 points from August
- Ted Cruz: 10 percent; up 1 point from August
- Jeb Bush: 8 percent, up 3 points from August
The 14-point swing recorded in the latest Monmouth poll is in line with what pollsters for the Des Moines Register at Quinnipiac University found last week. The Donald, does, however, still holds a 6-point lead on Carson nationally, and an 18-point lead on his next closest rival, Rubio, though both of those were much larger back in mid-September when Trump was at his polling peak.
The usual caveats apply: Polls tell us plenty about the present, but not necessarily a whole lot about the future. Less than 1 in 5 Republican respondents in the Monmouth survey, for instance, said they are completely set on their choice. But given how much Trump relies on his polling numbers to justify his political existence, his future depends almost entirely on his present.
Elsewhere in Slate: It’s No Surprise That Iowa Republicans Love Ben Carson’s Most Offensive Views