Ben Carson and Donald Trump are tied at the top of the Republican field in a new survey of likely Iowa caucus-goers with 23 percent each, according to the results of a Monmouth University poll released Monday.
The good news continues for the retired neurosurgeon with his favorability ratings, as 81 percent said they view him favorably, compared to just 6 percent who do not. And Trump’s favorability went up as well, at 52 percent to 33 percent, up from 47 percent and 35 percent last month.
Carson has steadily gained support over the summer despite keeping a relatively low profile, especially compared to Trump. But Carson, who has never held political office, has similarly tapped into a strong anti-Washington sentiment among voters.
In the poll released Monday, the two non-establishment candidates are followed by another, former Hewlett-Packard executive Carly Fiorina with 10 percent. Following Fiorina are Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 9 percent, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 7 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 5 percent, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 4 percent, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 3 percent. No other candidates registered more than 2 percent, including the last two winners of the caucus – former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (both at 2 percent).
The latest survey showed Carson making inroads on key voting blocs that Trump has been winning in recent polls. Women preferred Carson at 30 percent to 19 percent, while Trump did better with men voters, at 27 percent to 17 percent.
Among those identifying with the tea party, 27 percent pledged their support for Trump, compared to 22 percent for Carson, with Cruz behind with 16 percent. But Carson leads among non-tea-party-affiliated Republicans, taking 25 percent to Trump’s 19 percent.
Voters who described themselves as very or somewhat conservative were split between the top two, while moderate and liberals went for Trump at 26 percent, Fiorina at 18 percent and Carson at 17 percent.
Carson leads among Evangelical voters, earning 29 percent to Trump’s 23 percent, while non-Evangelicals backed Trump with 24 percent, followed by Carson at 18 percent and Fiorina at 13 percent.
Nearly a third of likely caucusgoers – 66 percent – said that the next president needs to be someone who can bring experience from outside of Washington, compared to 23 percent who indicated a preference toward candidates with government experience.
The survey was conducted Aug. 27-30, polling 405 likely caucus participants with an overall margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.