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

Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpRepublican former senator to endorse Clinton Trump camp touts million raised since debate Trump reveals how he calmed his nerves before debate 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 CruzTed CruzFunding bill rejected as shutdown nears Cruz: Clinton 'tired' and 'formulaic' during debate The Trail 2016: Fight night MORE (R-Texas) in second, with 23 percent, Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioObama nominates ambassador to Cuba Rubio praises Marlins pitcher José Fernández on Senate floor Glenn Beck: I was wrong about Ted Cruz 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.