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Fox News poll: Donald Trump pulls ahead in Iowa, maintains top spot in New Hampshire

Donald Trump is gaining ground in Iowa, a new Fox News poll found.

With one week before the Iowa caucuses, Trump leads Ted Cruz, 34 percent to 23 percent.

The most recent poll showed Marco Rubio was in third at 12 percent, followed by Ben Carson at 7 percent. Rand Paul, the poll found, was polling at 6 percent in Iowa.

The poll found 20 percent of likely Republican caucusgoers said they would refuse to vote for Trump if he was the Republican nominee; 14 percent said they would refuse to vote for Jeb Bush if he was the nominee.

The Fox News poll was conducted Jan. 18 through Jan. 21. The results show a shift in opinions from earlier Fox News surveys, which found Cruz was leading the pack in Iowa.

The Iowa caucuses are Feb. 1

Trump still dominates in New Hampshire, found a Fox News poll conducted during the same time period. That survey shows Trump leads Cruz, 31 percent to 14 percent. Rubio is in third at 13 percent, John Kasich follows at 9 percent. Bush and Chris Christie are tied at 7 percent.

The New Hampshire primary is Feb. 9.

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Polling roundup: Candidates continue to jockey for top spot in Iowa

Want to know who is pulling ahead in Iowa? The answer might just depend on which poll you’re looking at.

A flurry of polls released this week in advance of the Iowa caucuses showed it could be a tight race among the Republican presidential hopefuls. Three polls have Donald Trump leading the pack — two of which showed the New York businessman maintained a commanding lead.

The two remaining polls out of Iowa had Trump neck-and-neck with Ted Cruz, with the Texas Senator pulling ahead in one of the surveys.

Trump leads the pack in Iowa with 37 percent. Among likely GOP caucusgoers, according to a CNN/ORC poll. Cruz is in second with 26 percent, while Marco Rubio is in the third with 14 percent. Ben Carson and Jeb Bush are at 6 percent and 3 percent respectively.

The CNN/ORC poll was conducted by telephone from Jan. 15 through Jan. 20.

An Emerson College poll conducted between Jan. 18 and Jan. 20 also showed Trump with a wide lead in Iowa. The survey showed Trump leads his Republican rivals with 33 percent, followed by Cruz at  23 percent. Rubio is at 14 percent while Carson is at 9 percent.

A Loras College poll of likely Republican caucusgoers found a much tighter race.

The survey was conducted from Jan. 13 through Jan. 18. Trump leads with 26 percent, while Cruz is at 25 percent. The poll found Rubio is in third with 13 percent; Carson is at 8 percent, and Bush is at 6 percent.

Cruz jumps to the front in a KBUR/Monmouth College poll. He leads with 27 percent, while Trump is in second with 25 percent. The survey found Carson was in third with 11 percent, followed by Rubio at 9 percent. Bush came in fifth with 7 percent.

On the Democratic side, the CNN/ORC poll found Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 51 percent to 43 percent among likely Democratic caucusgoers.

In the KBUR/Monmouth College survey, Clinton leads Sanders 48 percent to 39 percent. She also leads Sanders in Emerson College poll, 52 percent to 43 percent.

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Poll: Donald Trump maintains huge lead over GOP field

Donald Trump maintains a huge lead over his opponents, according to a new Economist/YouGov poll.

Among likely Republican primary voters, the New York Republican leads the pack with 38 percent. That’s a 19-point lead over Ted Cruz who is at 19 percent. Marco Rubio is at 14 percent, followed by Ben Carson at 7 percent.

The poll found that 81 percent of likely Republican primary voters were satisfied with their choices; while 13 percent said they would like to see someone else in the field.

About 68 percent of Republicans polled said they had a very favorable opinion on Trump; while 71 percent said they had a favorable opinion of Cruz.

When it comes to who is ready to be commander-in-chief, 63 percent of Republican respondents said Cruz was ready to hold that position; while 62 percent said Trump was ready.

The web-based survey took place from Jan. 15 through Jan. 19.

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Marco Rubio says faith the “single greatest influence in my life”

Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio promised to keep “talking about God” as he campaigned across Iowa Monday, reminding influential evangelical voters of his commitment to Christian values just two weeks before the state’s leadoff caucuses.

The Florida senator’s GOP rivals have dismissed him as too moderate at times, but on Monday, he spoke of how Christian conservative values would guide his decisions in the White House, if he is elected. The Florida senator, a Catholic, opened up about religion when confronted by an atheist during a town hall-style meeting in Waverly, Iowa.

“No one’s going to force you to believe in God. But no one’s going to force me to stop talking about God,” Rubio told the atheist, Justin Scott, of Waterloo.

Added Rubio, “Not only am I a Christian, not only am I influenced by my faith, but it is the single greatest influence in my life. And from that, I’ll never hide.”

Looking up at businessman Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the polls, the first-term senator is trying to break out of the crowded Republican field. There are several candidates aggressively courting Iowa’s religious conservatives, who typically play outsize influence in the opening contest. Cruz is particularly popular among such voters, as is retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania Gov. Rick Santorum.

Rubio’s focus on religion would be less appealing in New Hampshire, which holds the nation’s first presidential primary eight days after the Iowa caucuses and typically rewards economic, rather than social conservatives.

In Waverly, the second of five campaign appearances Rubio had scheduled Monday, he renewed his opposition to abortion and promised to strip funding from Planned Parenthood if elected. He also said pastors, bakers and florists shouldn’t be penalized for refusing to participate in a same-sex marriage. On abortion, Rubio supports an exception for the life of the mother, but opposes exceptions in cases of rape and incest.

“I believe every human being, no matter what stage you are in your development, even if you don’t have a birth certificate, even if you don’t have a lawyer, even if you don’t have a name, has a right to live,” Rubio said, adding that he respects people on the other side of the debate.

Rubio told the atheist that his Christian faith shouldn’t be a concern.

“In fact, I think you should hope my faith influences me,” Rubio said, noting that his faith outlines an obligation to care for the less fortunate, to love his neighbor and feed the hungry.

“I’m going to share my faith, especially when I’m asked, because my faith influences who I am in every aspect of my life,” he said.

Rubio added that he’ll live to 85 or 90, if he’s lucky.

“But I’m more interested in eternity and the ability to live forever with my creator,” he said. “And that’s what I aspire to more than anything else.”

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

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Donald Trump has double-digit lead over Ted Cruz in NBC News/WSJ poll

Donald Trump has a double-digit lead over the Republican field, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Trump is at 33 percent among national Republican primary voters, the poll found. Ted Cruz is at 20 percent; while Marco Rubio is at 13 percent. The poll found Ben Carson is at 12 percent, while Chris Christie and Jeb Bush are tied with 5 percent.

Trump’s lead over the Texas senator has increased since last month. In December, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found Trump was at 27 percent, while Cruz was at 22 percent.

In a three-way race between the Top 3 candidates, the New York businessman received 40 percent among GOP primary voters. In that scenario, Cruz was at 31 percent; while Rubio was at 26 percent.

When GOP voters were asked, however, to choose between Trump and Cruz, the Texas senator came out on top with 51 percent, compared to Trump’s 43 percent.

In a matchup between Trump and Rubio, the Florida senator received 45 percent to Trump’s 52 percent.

Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican polling firm, and Hart Research Associates, a Democratic polling firm, conducted the poll from Jan. 9 through Jan. 13. Four hundred Republican primary voters were polled, and the margin of error is 4.9 percent.

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Jeb Bush is only candidate NH voters view unfavorably, Monmouth U. poll finds

For Jeb Bush and supporters, it’s probably wise not to rise or fall on the basis of a single poll.

Case in point? New Hampshire.

The Bush camp rallied this weekend around a poll that showed him moving up to second place in New Hampshire, getting 11.9 percent support.

Flash forward to Monday, where a Monmouth University poll just released has him tied for 7th place, with just 4 percent of the vote.

The story in this poll is that Donald Trump is rising in the Granite State, getting 32 percent support. That’s up from 26 percent when Monmouth pollsters asked the same question in November. Trump’s 6-point gain is the largest for any candidate in the GOP field. His favorability rating has also ticked up and now sits at 52 percent positive and 40 percent negative.

Tied for second is Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, well behind Trump with 14 percent each.

Marco Rubio is in fourth place in the survey with 12 percent, and Chris Christie is fifth at 8 percent.

“As Granite State voters start to firm up their decision, it’s looking more and more unlikely that Trump will be toppled from his perch,” said Monmouth polling director Patrick Murray. “The real fight is for second place.”

Rounding out the field are businesswoman Carly Fiorina, at 5 percent, and Rand Paul and Bush, both tied at 4 percent.

And Bush has the distinction of being the only Republican candidate in the survey who GOP voters view negatively. Only 39 percent of Republicans voters in New Hampshire have a positive view of Bush, compared to 47 percent who view him negatively.

And remember Ben Carson? In the November version of the Monmouth poll, the retired neurosurgeon was in second place, with 16 percent support. Now? He’s in ninth place, with just 3 percent.

Carson once had the highest favorability rating of any candidate in the field, but now he sits at 46 percent positive and 34 percent negative.

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NBC News/WSJ/Marist poll: Ted Cruz leads Donald Trump in Iowa

Ted Cruz leads Donald Trump in Iowa, while Trump continues to outpace the competition in New Hampshire, according to a NBC News/WSJ/Marist poll released Sunday.

Among likely Republican caucus-goers, the Texas senator leads the New York businessman, 28 percent to 24 percent. The poll found Marco Rubio comes in third with 13 percent, Ben Caron has 11 percent and Rand Paul has 5 percent.

In New Hampshire, Trump continues to dominate among likely Republican primary voters. The NBC News/WSJ/Marist poll found Trump has 30 percent support; while Rubio is at 14 percent and Chris Christie is at 12 percent. Cruz lags behind in New Hampshire, with 10 percent; while John Kasich and Jeb Bush are tied at 9 percent.

Among likely Democratic caucus goers in Iowa, Clinton leads Sanders 48 percent to 45 percent. Martin O’Malley is at 5 percent.

In New Hampshire, Sanders leads Clinton, 50 percent to 46 percent. O’Malley is at 1 percent.

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Gallup: Jeb Bush’s image among Republicans declines

Jeb Bush’s image among Republicans has worsened, according to a new Gallup poll.

Forty-five percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they had an unfavorable opinion of the former Florida governor. The results reflect voters opinions between Dec. 18 and Jan. 5.

That support, the poll found, is significantly lower than his position in July, when 54 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they had a favorable opinion of Bush.

Frank Newport of gallup.com reported that Bush’s -1 net favorable rating is the “worst of any major GOP candidate — lower than John Kasich’s +5, and well below seven other GOP candidates Gallup is tracking.”

Ted Cruz tops the list during the two-week period, with 61 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents saying they had a favorable opinion of the Texas senator. Cruz has a +45 net favorable rating.

Marco Rubio has a +35 net favorable rating, with 55 percent of people saying they had a favorable view of the Florida senator during the two-week period. He came in third in Gallup’s net favorable rankings, being Ben Carson, who has a +4 net favorable rating.

Bush went from being the presumed front-runner to lagging in the polls. National polling averages show he is in sixth place, with 3.3 percent support. Trump continues to lead the pack, national polling averages show, with 35.3 percent support.

Bush has spent a considerable amount of time in early voting states in recent weeks as he tries to gain momentum in advance of the country’s first primaries. The Iowa caucuses are Feb. 1; the New Hampshire primary follows a week later, on Feb. 9.

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Today on Context Florida: Fuzzy budget math, accounting tricks, Ben Carson and ending meetings on time

Today on Context Florida:

Once again, the media is abuzz and many in the Florida Legislature are absolutely giddy at the prospect of what they call a budget surplus this year. State fiscal analysts are predicting a surplus of about $635 million and the Governor’s Office, using what Rich Templin calls a bit of fuzzy math that no one outside of his administration can understand to project excess revenues of $1.3 billion.

Frank Clemente says, surprisingly, Congress’s $680 billion holiday-season tax deal will bring some cheer to working families and not just to big corporations this year. Refundable tax credits putting extra cash in the hands of hard-pressed workers and parents were included in a huge year-end gift-wrapped package of tax breaks — the type of bill that usually only offers big rewards to corporate fat cats. It’s an accounting trick, Clemente notes. Tax cuts supposedly expiring in a year or two don’t make long-range budget projections look so bad, after all.

Bill Day’s latest:

Bill Day's latest ... #FlaPol

According to Marc Yacht, presidential hopeful Ben Carson found voters fickle. And as they say in the theater, “His star is fading.” After enjoying a top-notch rating since appearing on the political scene, the neurosurgeon seems fated to the dustbin of political history.  Carson sinks faster than a leaky wooden boat.  What happened to this Trump challenger?

Many of us have taken the rollover of the calendar as a chance to make changes and reaffirm commitments. Usually, says Michael Preston, these decisions take the form of the New Year’s resolution. We are great at making promises, but, unfortunately, are lousy at keeping them. Likely you are one of those who have made and failed to keep your resolution. But here’s one resolution Preston is going to try to keep this year: End meetings on time.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

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Reuters poll: Donald Trump maintains lead over GOP field

A new Reuters poll shows Donald Trump is maintaining a hefty lead among registered Republicans.

Among registered Republicans, 42.2 percent said they supported the New York businessman, compared with 15 percent for Sen. Ted Cruz and 11.2 percent for Ben Carson.

Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush rounded out the Top 5 candidates, with 8.5 percent of the respondents said they supported Rubio and 7.7 percent supported Bush.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll collects data entirely using online surveys. The data is drawn from online surveys using sampling data developed with several outside experts.

Trump has been at the top of national polls for months, and he leads the pack in New Hampshire and South Carolina. In Iowa, polling averages show that Trump trails Cruz.

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