Poll: Trump holds 8-point lead over Cruz in Iowa

Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE holds an 8-point lead in Iowa, just four days before the first-in-the-nation caucuses there, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released Thursday.

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The billionaire businessman secured 31 percent support, followed by Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhatever you think the Alabama special election means, you’re probably wrong This week: Congress gets ball rolling on tax reform Week ahead: Senators work toward deal to fix ObamaCare markets MORE (R-Texas) in second, with 23 percent, Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Tillerson, Trump deny report of rift | Tillerson says he never considered resigning | Trump expresses 'total confidence' in secretary | Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad with pro-communist posts GOP establishment doubts Bannon’s primary powers MORE (R-Fla.), at 14 percent, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, at 9 percent.

Former Govs. Jeb Bush (Fla.) and Mike Huckabee (Ark.), along with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), tie for fifth, with 4 percent each.

The poll also reported a major drop in Cruz's favorability rating since the last PPP poll earlier this month.

The Jan. 12 survey found that 69 percent of Iowans viewed Cruz favorably, but Thursday’s survey shows that number at just 56 percent.

Since then, the Texas senator has been in an escalating feud with Trump. The billionaire businessman has warned Cruz could face legal challenges over his eligibility to serve as president due to his birth in Canada to an American mother.

Cruz has hit back at the front-runner, accusing Trump of cowardice for skipping Thursday evening’s Fox News debate.

The survey found that 31 percent of likely voters said they would still be willing to change their mind about whom to support in the Feb. 1 caucuses.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 780 likely Republican caucusgoers from Jan. 26–27 and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.