Both parties’ races in Monday’s Iowa caucuses are coming down to the wire, with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton slightly ahead, according to the state’s most influential poll.
Trump, the brash real-estate tycoon who skipped the final debate in Iowa this week, has a 5-point lead in the Republican race over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, according to the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is in third place at 15 percent, and retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson is at 10 percent. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is at 5 percent, and no other candidate earns more than 3 percent.
In the Democratic race, Clinton is running neck-and-neck with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 45 percent to 42 percent – though Clinton’s support appears more secure. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is at 3 percent and appears unlikely to be viable at most caucus sites on Monday night.
The poll, conducted by legendary Iowa pollster J. Ann Selzer, has long been influential and accurate: Selzer’s surveys predicted victories by Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee in 2008, and foresaw Rick Santorum’s late surge in 2012.
The poll was conducted Jan. 26-29, surveying 602 likely Democratic and Republican caucus-goers; each party’s results carry a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.