Cruz surges to the top in Iowa

Sen. Ted Cruz has surged past Donald Trump in Iowa with less than two months to go before the nation's first nominating contest, giving Cruz his first lead in any early voting state during the campaign.

A Monmouth University poll said Cruz has 24 percent support among likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa, a 14-point jump for the Texas senator since October.

Trump won 19 percent in the poll, giving Cruz a 5 percent lead that's outside the margin of error.

Much of Cruz's support stems from evangelical Iowans who back the conservative senator 30 percent to Trump's 18 percent. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson previously led the GOP field in support among this coveted demographic, but now earns just 15 percent support among evangelicals, putting him behind Cruz, Trump, and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (16 percent).

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