Iowa Poll Shakeup: Cruz Surges, Trump in 2nd

Washington (CNN)Ted Cruz has soared ahead of Donald Trump in a new Iowa poll, opening up a 10-point lead in the critical first-in-the-nation voting state.
The Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics poll released on Saturday finds Cruz commanding 31% of likely Republican caucus-goers in the state, 10 points ahead of Trump, who received 21%.
For Cruz, the poll represents a massive 21-point jump from a survey conducted by the two outlets in October.
Cruz and Trump will face off Tuesday in Las Vegas at the next Republican presidential debate, sponsored by CNN.
“We have more work to do, but we can definitively say the message is working,” Cruz’s Iowa state director, Bryan English, told CNN in a statement.
The results are the most tangible sign yet that Cruz’s strategy in Iowa — heavily dependent on winning over pastors and their evangelical congregations — is succeeding. For months, Cruz labored behind the scenes, courting and organizing influential faith leaders as he slowly worked to peel off the born-again believers of candidates like Ben Carson.
On Thursday — after the poll was fielded — the Texas senator won his biggest Christian booster yet: Bob Vander Plaats, who has endorsed the last two Iowa winners.
Ben Carson dropped to third place with 13%. Marco Rubio has 10%, which puts him in fourth place — the same spot he held in October. Jeb Bush has 6% — a 1% increase from two months ago.
Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie are tied with 3%. The rest of the field, including Carly Fiorina and John Kasich, is at 2% or less.
The poll of 400 likely Republican caucus-goers was conducted between December 7 and 10, after Trump called for a ban on allowing Muslim immigrants into the U.S. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points

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