What's behind Trump's collapsing Iowa poll numbers? Evangelicals prefer Carson

There was a time not so long ago when polls showed Donald Trump leading among likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa. Polls further indicated that Christian conservatives were a crucial part of his early polling success.

Today, Trump maintains a lead in national surveys. But in Iowa, whose February caucuses will be the first major electoral event of the presidential nominating process, his support is collapsing, and waning support among Evangelicals seems to be an important reason why.

In fact, four recent polls show Trump is now in second place among Republican voters in the Hawkeye State, and a fifth poll shows him tied with Ben Carson. Trump is falling behind with many demographic groups in Iowa, but chief among them are evangelicals, who make up a majority of Iowa caucus-goers. Most of those voters are transferring their support, at least for now, to retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

A Monmouth University poll released October 26 shows Ben Carson ahead of Trump 32 percent to 18 percent. That's a 9-point gain for Carson compared to late August. Trump, meanwhile, has fallen six points in that time. In the August poll, Carson held a six-point lead over Trump among evangelical voters. Now that lead is 18 points (36 percent to 18 percent).

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