According to a new CNN/ORC poll Republican Donald Trump and Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders have opened up solid leads in the Iowa race up to the February 1st caucus’s.
• Trump leads Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who is in second place in the GOP race, among likely Republican caucus-goers, 37% to 26%. Sen. Marco Rubio comes in a distant 3rd at 14%. All others are in single digits.
• Sanders, meanwhile, has opened up an eight-point lead over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, leading her in Iowa 51% to 43%
There is an interesting aspect to the poll results, however. When only counting respondents who previously caucused in their party’s most recent competitive caucus, the numbers change up quite a bit.
• Cruz pulls past Trump, with 30% for Cruz to 28% for Trump. Rubio stays somewhat unchanged at 16% in that sample.
• Looking at Democrats who caucused in 2008, Clinton moves into the lead over Sanders, with Clinton 55% to Sanders 38%.
What this would mean to me is a lot of folks who are not regular caucus-goers make the difference for Trump and Sanders. Those two are inspiring energy – BUT – will they actually show up on a cold February night to support their choice when it’s not a habit for them?
We shall see in just 11 days.