Ben Carson tops Trump in 2016 Iowa poll

2015-10-24 07:54
Ben Carson announces his candidacy for president during an official announcement in Detroit. (Paul Sancya, AP)

Ben Carson announces his candidacy for president during an official announcement in Detroit. (Paul Sancya, AP)

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Washington - Political neophyte Ben Carson has surged past front-running billionaire tycoon Donald Trump to lead the 2016 Republican presidential nomination race in early-voting Iowa, fresh polling showed on Friday.

Carson, a retired paediatric neurosurgeon and the only African-American candidate in the campaign, claims 28% support from likely voters in the Republican Iowa caucus, compared to 19%t for Trump, according to a Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll.

Senator Ted Cruz was third with 10% and Senator Marco Rubio was fourth at nine percent.

Jeb Bush, a former governor of Florida who was the early frontrunner only to slip into the middle of the pack, is tied for fifth at five percent.

Carson enjoyed a 10-point gain from the previous poll, in late August, while Trump slid four points.

Carson's standing "has improved in every way pollsters traditionally measure," said J Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co which conducted the poll.

"This might be a wake-up for Donald Trump."

The survey, with a 4.9% margin of error, is the second in two days that has Carson knocking Trump off his perch in Iowa, an intensely contested state because it votes first in the lengthy US primary and caucus process.

Carson leads Trump 28% to 20% in a Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday, with Rubio in third with 13% and Cruz fourth at 10%.

Trump, whose bombast and insults of his rivals are hallmarks of his campaign, still leads nationally, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average.

Ex-secretary of state Hillary Clinton remains the clear favourite for the Democratic nomination.

Carson's success has been somewhat of a mystery.

He is a political outsider who has lacked a consistent message on the campaign trail, speaks so bluntly and candidly that he ruffles feathers, and often flies under the media radar.

Like Trump, he has capitalised on the populist anger with Washington that is coursing through wide swathes of the American heartland.

Carson raised $20.8m in donations from July through September, more than any other Republican.

Read more on:    ben carson  |  marco rubio  |  us  |  us 2016 elections

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