Early Iowa poll shows Trump, Sanders leading field

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WASHINGTON (Feb. 1, 2016) — Donald Trump is ahead of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has a very narrow edge over Hillary Clinton, an Iowa poll released Monday shows just hours before caucusing begins.

Business executive Trump leads with 31% while Cruz has 24%, giving Trump a larger margin over the Texas senator than he had a week ago. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has 17% and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has 8%.

On the Democratic side, Sanders has 49% while the former Secretary of State has 46% — a difference of just 3 percentage points, within the poll’s 3.2 percentage point margin of error. That result is different from the Des Moines Register poll released Saturday, which also featured a three-point difference, but with Clinton in the lead, 45% to 42%.

That Register poll also featured Trump in the lead, though with a smaller advantage: Trump had 28% to Cruz’s 23%, followed by Rubio at 15%.

Monday’s poll results suggest that the key for both Trump and Sanders will be first-time caucus goers.

“The size of the turnout tonight will likely be the key factor, especially on the Democratic side,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “High turnouts with lots of new caucus participants likely would mean a good night for Sen. Bernie Sanders, and for Donald Trump.”

Monday’s Quinnipiac poll was conducted between January 25 and January 31. The survey used responses from 919 likely Iowa Democratic Caucus participants, and the Republican side spoke to 890 Republican likely participants with a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.

Learn more about how the Iowa Caucus process works.

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