A Monmouth University poll released Monday shows Dr. Ben Carson surging to a mammoth 14 point lead over Donald Trump. Currently, the good doctor leads the billionaire businessman 32% to 18%. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are tied for third at 10%. Jeb Bush is at 8%. Carly Fiorina, who has pretty much disappeared from the news cycle over the past two weeks, is at just 4%.
It is safe to say that Carson is now the leader in Iowa. Of the last five polls taken over the last 10 days, Carson’s leading by an average of 9%. The closest Trump has come to Carson is a tie in one of these polls, and as of now that poll looks like an outlier.
Carson is the second choice of 19% of caucusgoers. Trump earns 12%.
Within this same poll, Monmouth found that over the last two months Carson jumped +9 points, Trump lost -5 points, and Fiorina lost -5 points.
The good news for Trump is that only 19% of caucusgoers have made up their mind. Only 43% have a strong preference.
Carson’s strength comes from his phenomenal approval rating of 84%. Only 7% view him unfavorably and actually improved from 81% – 6% rating just two weeks ago. Trump’s approval sits at just 53% to 33%. Trump lost 4 points over two months.
At least Trump is rightside up. Jeb Bush is upside down 42% to 46%.
In all the other states, Trump enjoys a commanding lead.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC