15 Sep 2016

The latest Monmouth University poll of Iowa has Donald Trump surging to a remarkable 8-point lead over Hillary Clinton — in a state that President Barack Obama won by 6 points in 2012.

Monmouth has the Iowa race at Trump 45 percent, Clinton 37 percent, Libertarian Gary Johnson 8 percent, and 2 percent for the Green Party’s Jill Stein. Two percent of respondents chose a different candidate, while 6 percent remain undecided.

In 2012, Obama won the state 52 percent to 46 percent. That was 15 points above Clinton’s current poll rating.

As with some other state polls that have been popping over the past week, Monmouth found Trump’s support fairly stable in Iowa, while Clinton dropped 5 points over the last two months.

Interestingly, Trump actually lost support from Republicans – he’s down from 87 percent in July to 81 percent today — while Clinton actually rose from 86 percent to 91 percent support among Democrats.

It’s the tide of independents breaking for Trump that have swept him into the lead. He’s ahead 44 percent to 29 percent with independents now, versus a much narrower 39 percent to 35 percent in July.

Monmouth finds Iowa an anomaly for younger voters where most preferring Trump, while Clinton leads with that cohort in most other states.

However, Trump slipped from a 51 percent to 32 percent lead with under-50 voters in July to 48 percent to 33 percent today. Johnson seems to have picked up a good deal of the youth vote that slipped away from Trump and Clinton in the state.

Trump and Clinton are virtually tied with college-educated voters in Iowa, while Trump enjoys a commanding 47 percent to 34 percent lead with voters who don’t have a college degree. Clinton usually does much better with college-educated voters, and had a 46 percent to 34 percent lead with them in Iowa just two months ago.

This led Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray to declare that Iowa “is one of the few places where Trump has been able to make inroads among voting blocs that generally support Clinton.”

The poll also found that six-term incumbent Republican Senator Charles Grassley is leading former Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge by 56 percent to 39 percent, which is nearly double the lead Grassley held two months ago. Solid job approval and favorability numbers were cited as the key to Grassley’s lead by Monmouth.