Club for Growth super-PAC poll shows Trump drop in Iowa
© Greg Nash

The fiscally conservative group Club for Growth's super-PAC, which has been openly warring with Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE, released a new poll on Tuesday showing the GOP front-runner falling to second place in Iowa.

The poll found Ben Carson in first place with 21 percent support, followed by Trump at 16 percent, Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Overnight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments MORE (R-Fla.) at 11 percent and Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina with 10 percent each.

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It’s the first poll since late July to find that Trump isn’t in the lead in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

The Club for Growth credited Trump’s decline to a $1 million ad buy the group placed in Iowa, highlighting Trump’s past as a Democrat and support for liberal policies.

“Donald Trump is not a conservative, and that message is getting through in Iowa,” Club for Growth President David McIntosh said in a statement. “Club for Growth Action can’t take full credit. Trump’s stumbling and substance-free debate performance surely hurt him; but CFG Action’s ads have exposed the truth about his history of support for higher taxes, and his advocacy for single-payer health care, eminent domain, and bailouts. That truth has erased Trump’s lead.”

McIntosh said the group would expand its advertising offensive against Trump in Iowa and other states later this month.

Trump’s lawyers have sent a cease-and-desist letter to the “pitiful little group” accusing them of a “shakedown.” Trump has also threatened a multi-million dollar libel lawsuit. 

The Club for Growth survey of 500 likely Republican caucus-goers was conducted by GOP polling firm Basswood Research between Oct. 3 and Oct. 4 and has a 4.4 percentage point margin of error.