Ted Cruz continues to hold an edge over Donald Trump in the GOP nomination race in Iowa, according to the latest Fox News poll of likely Republican caucus-goers.

The new poll, released Friday, finds Cruz receives 27 percent support and Trump 23 percent.  Marco Rubio follows in third place at 15 percent.

That’s little changed from a month ago when Cruz had 28 percent, Trump had 26 percent, and Rubio had 13 percent (December 7-10).


Ben Carson is at nine percent (-1), Jeb Bush seven percent (+2), and Rand Paul five percent (no change).

Cruz’s advantage widens among caucus-goers who identify as “very” conservative.  He garners 40 percent among this group -- nearly double Trump’s 22 percent.

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White evangelical Christians also prefer Cruz over Trump (33 vs. 19 percent).

Cruz bests Trump among caucus-goers who have a college degree (25 vs. 18 percent) and those under age 45 (27 vs. 17 percent).

Trump has a one-point edge among those without a degree (30 vs. 29 percent).

The two are also about even among those over age 45 (Cruz 26 vs. Trump 25 percent).

Nearly 3 in 10 who say they will attend a Republican caucus this year have never done so before (27 percent).  These first-timers are about equally likely to back Trump (27 percent) as Cruz (26 percent).  Another 14 percent go for Rubio.

It will be tough for Trump to expand his support in Iowa, as nearly a third of likely caucus-goers say they could “never” back him (31 percent).  That’s more than four times as many as say the same about Cruz (7 percent).  One in four couldn’t support Bush (25 percent).

By a 57-39 percent margin, GOP caucus-goers feel “betrayed” by politicians in their party.  That widens to 66-31 percent among Cruz supporters -- and to 70-27 percent among “very” conservatives in the Hawkeye State.

More say national security (36 percent) will be most important in deciding who they’ll support than say economic issues (32 percent), immigration (12 percent) or social issues (8 percent).

They also put being honest and trustworthy (25 percent) and being a strong leader (22 percent) at the top of the list of traits they want in a nominee.  Those outrank having true conservative values (18 percent), beating the Democrat (13 percent), and shaking things up in Washington (13 percent).

In the end, caucus-goers are more likely to think Trump (37 percent) will be the GOP nominee than say the same of Cruz (26 percent).

The Fox News Poll is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R). The poll was conducted January 4-7, 2016, by telephone (landline and cellphone) with live interviewers among a random sample of 504 Iowa Republican caucus-goers selected from a statewide voter file.  Results among the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.