Iowa Pre-Caucus Polls Show The Presidential Races Tightening As The Big Event Nears
With the Iowa caucuses just a day away, presidential candidates are finding themselves in closer races than even they may have thought possible. The Iowa Poll, published on Saturday by The Des Moines Register and Bloomberg, showed some signs of change at the top of the Republican ticket. Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is closing in on Hillary Clinton more than ever before. As Feb. 1 rapidly approaches, these races could conclude unexpectedly, and the results may surprise voters as this pre-caucus tightening of the presidential race come to fruition — or don't.
On the Republican side, national polls are showing a vast disparity — of over 15 points — between Donald Trump's 35.8 percent and Ted Cruz's 19.6 percent of the national prospective Republican vote. Marco Rubio trails behind the two at 10.2 percent of the vote as of Jan. 30. However, according to USA Today's 2016 Presidential Poll Tracker, in Iowa, Trump only leads by just over six points, with 30.4 percent of the prospective Republican vote to Cruz's 24.2 percent. Again, Rubio sits in third with 15.2 percent of the prospective Republican voter endorsement. Ben Carson follows at 8.8 percent, and it only shrinks from there.
But according to the aforementioned The Iowa Poll, 28 percent of likely caucus attendees support Trump, while 23 percent plan to back and 15 percent plan to caucus for Rubio. Despite Trump's claims to dominion over the polls, pollsters reported that he has not led this particular poll since August. Instead, both Cruz and Carson have on different occasions stood on top, indicating that this particular poll speaks to at-the-moment sentiment. And according to some, Trump voters and Cruz voters are two entirely different animals, so it may simply depend on who turns up come the caucuses and primaries.
In terms of the Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are currently separated by only a margin of error in Iowa. The Iowa Poll, which surveys 602 Democrat and 602 Republican caucus goers, reveals Clinton at 45 percent of the prospective Democratic caucus-goer vote, with Sanders closing in at 42 percent. Support of both candidates has risen, with Clinton seeing an increase of three percentage points since early January, and Sanders seeing a two-point increase. According to CBS News, the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. This particular poll was taken Tuesday to Friday.
On a national scale, according to USA Today's 2016 Presidential Poll Tracker, Clinton leads nationally with 51.6 percentage points, and Sanders is behind by nearly 15 points at 37.2.
Certainly, the trends have generally remained the same through the course of this election cycle, but it is impossible to deny that Americans' minds are opening to the alternative options within their party as the debates occur and the race for the White House progresses. As it turns out, pre-caucus polls are revealing this race is tighter than anyone could have anticipated even months ago.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated from its original version.