Poll: Trump maintains lead in Iowa
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Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpPaul Ryan defends Navy admiral after Trump's criticism Trump discussing visit overseas to troops following criticism: report Retired Army General: Trump is ‘acting like an 8th grader’ in attacking ex-Navy SEAL who led bin Laden operation MORE maintained his lead among Iowa’s likely GOP caucus voters in a Suffolk University poll taken in the days after last week’s first presidential debate.

The real estate magnate topped the field, with 17 percent support. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker came in second with 12 percent; Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) followed with 10 percent; retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson came in fourth at 9 percent; and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) and businesswoman Carly Fiorina rounded out the top tier, each with 7 percent.


The results show a decline in former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's stock in the Hawkeye State. While he hasn’t led a poll of Iowa voters since last summer, he typically finishes much closer to the top than he did this time. He won just 5 percent support in Suffolk's latest poll.

On the flip side, Fiorina's numbers shot up after a widely praised performance in last week’s undercard debate, which included seven candidates outside the top ten in national polling. She rarely polled above 3 percent in Iowa until earlier this week, when she won 10 percent in a Public Policy Polling survey.

Along with Monday’s PPP poll, the Suffolk survey figures provide the most immediate look at how Hawkeye State voters view the candidates after last Thursday’s Fox News debates.

Iowa voters declared Rubio and Carson the winners of the main debate, which included the field’s top ten candidates, according to the Suffolk numbers — with 23 percent calling Rubio the most impressive at the debate, while 22 percent chose Carson.

While Rubio received a post-debate bump from Suffolk’s survey, he had a lackluster showing in PPP’s, where he dropped to 6 percent from a high of 13 percent in April.

An overwhelming 82 percent believe Fiorina won the undercard debate, while 93 percent want her to be included on the main debate stage.

Trump fares much better with those who skipped out on watching last week’s debates — 21 percent of those voters back him. Among those who did watch the contests, 14 percent each backed Trump and Walker.

"In the absence of a debate, Trump’s lead widens because he swallows up the political oxygen," David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, said in a statement. 

"But when that oxygen is spread out more evenly in a debate, it breathes life into the other candidates, and the race gets closer."

The Suffolk University poll of 500 likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers from Aug. 7–10 has a 4-point margin of error.

- Updated at 1:07 p.m.