Ted Cruz leads the GOP pack in new Iowa poll

Updated

A new poll shows Texas Sen. Ted Cruz surging into first place in Iowa as Republican presidential hopefuls jockey for position in the key early caucus state.

The Monmouth University poll shows Cruz with the support of 24% of likely caucus-goers, ahead of Donald Trump (at 19%) and Marco Rubio (at 17%).

RELATED: Hillary leads in 2016 match-ups as Carson, Rubio run closest

Cruz’s support has jumped by 14 points since October. But retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who led the same poll two months ago, has dropped 19 points to just 13% support now.

Jeb Bush receives just 6% support in the new survey, with Rand Paul (4%), Carly Fiorina (3%) and John Kasich (3%) behind.

Cruz’s advantage includes a lead among Iowa’s sizable evangelical population. Thirty percent of evangelical voters back the Texas senator, versus 18% who back Trump, 16% who back Rubio and 15% who back Carson.

In October, Carson held the lead with the evangelical voting bloc, getting 36% support. 

This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com

Iowa, Polling and Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz leads the GOP pack in new Iowa poll

Updated