Donald Trump takes Iowa lead; Clinton-Sanders race is close, poll shows – Los Angeles Times
Donald Trump has solidified his lead over Sen. Ted Cruz in advance of Monday’s Iowa caucuses, and Hillary Clinton appears to hold a small edge over Sen. Bernie Sanders, a new poll finds.
The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist survey found Trump with solid leads in three states holding early nominating contests: Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
In Iowa, Trump leads Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, 32%-25%, the poll found. Three weeks ago, the same poll found Cruz ahead, 28%-24%. The survey is one of several in recent days that have shown Cruz slipping since he and Trump began attacks against each other in early January.
Trump continues to dominate the field among Republican voters who have not graduated from college, but runs even among college graduates. Among non-college-graduates, Trump leads in Iowa with 42%, to 24% for Cruz. Among college graduates, Cruz has 26%, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida 24% and Trump 20%, the poll found.
In New Hampshire, the poll found Trump getting nearly one-third of the vote while Cruz, Rubio, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were all closely bunched together in a battle for second place, but well behind the leader.
On the Democratic side, Clinton has a 48%-45% edge over Sanders in Iowa, a result within the survey’s margin of error of +/- 4.7 percentage points. Martin O’Malley, the former Maryland governor, has 3% support.
Clinton leads among Iowa Democrats older than 45, while Sanders leads among younger voters. She leads among women; he leads among men.
Clinton enjoys a big lead in South Carolina, 64%-27%, in part because of overwhelming support among the state’s black voters, the poll found. But Sanders leads in New Hampshire, 57%-38%. That’s an improvement for him since a Marist poll conducted earlier this month.
The Marist poll is one of several expected over the next few days as the Iowa voting nears. The Iowa Poll for the Des Moines Register and Bloomberg, which has the best track record for predicting the caucus results, is due out on Saturday evening.