Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump leads in a new CNN poll of Iowa Republican voters released Wednesday, overcoming a week that included a contentious debate performance, a feud with Fox News and host Megyn Kelly, and a canceled appearance at the conservative RedState Gathering after organizers barred him from speaking.
Trump drew support from 22% of likely GOP caucus-goers in the new poll, a healthy lead over second place finisher Dr. Ben Carson, who scored 14%. No one else hit double digits: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was at 9%, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 8%, and businesswoman Carly Fiorina and former Arkasnas Gov. Mike Huckabee took 7%. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio each had 5%.
Twenty-two percent of respondents also named Trump the candidate most likely to succeed in a general election race, the most of anyone in the field.
The billionaire real estate mogul rated especially high on which candidate was “most likely to change the way things work in Washington.” Forty-four percent of respondents named Trump, versus just 9% who named Carson, the highest number for anyone else in the field. Trump also scored highest on a number of issue areas, with respondents naming him the best poised to handle the economy, illegal immigration and terrorism.
Trump surprised observers on Tuesday by seemingly endorsing the Democratic position on Planned Parenthood, arguing the women’s health group should be barred from using federal funding for abortion (as is currently the case) but that he was reluctant to cut funding for other health services. While the poll was unlikely to capture reaction to the news within its timeframe, it found Trump tied with Jeb Bush for third place on the question of who would best handle the issue. Carson and Huckabee were tied for first.
One important caveat: The overwhelming majority of Republicans – 66% – told pollsters they were undecided on their final vote, and only 15% said they were fully decided. Trump performed even better among fully decided voters and those who are “leaning towards someone,” however, garnering 34% support.
The poll was taken August 7-11 and sampled 544 likely Republican caucus participants with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 points.
Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated Trump’s level of support on abortion.