Donald Trump widens lead over Ted Cruz in Iowa poll

Published: Jan 11, 2016 4:11 p.m. ET

Donald Trump took a slightly expanded lead over Republican rival Ted Cruz in a new poll of Iowa voters, with the first voting contest of the 2016 presidential primary season just three weeks away.

Trump edged up to 31% support from likely Iowa Republican caucus-goers in the latest Quinnipiac University poll, after pulling in 28% in the same survey in December. His new standing puts him two points ahead of Cruz, a Texas senator, versus one.

While small, Trump’s Iowa lead is significant. Cruz has led Trump in many other recent polls of Iowans, who hold their first-in-the-nation caucuses on Feb. 1. In the most recent average of Iowa polls from RealClearPolitics, Cruz holds a two-point lead over Trump. Marco Rubio is in third place.

That two-point difference and the new Quinnipiac poll’s four-point margin of error suggest Iowa’s Republican caucus will be an extremely close contest.

The poll was one of two positive surveys for Trump released Monday. A Monmouth University survey showed him at 32% in New Hampshire, up from 26% in November. He’s far ahead of Cruz and other Republicans in the state, which holds the country’s first primary on Feb. 9.