Trump leads Iowa GOP race, state’s leading poll finds

Donald Trump leads the Republican field as the candidates move into the home stretch for Monday’s Iowa caucuses, according to the state’s most authoritative poll.

The Iowa Poll, sponsored by the Des Moines Register and Bloomberg, finds Trump ahead with 28 percent of the vote, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz at 23 percent. Sen. Marco Rubio sits in third place, at 15 percent.

Although many polls try to survey Iowa’s voters in advance of the caucuses, which kick off the nomination process, the Iowa Poll, directed by Ann Selzer, has attained pre-eminence because of its history of accurately forecasting many of the results in recent election cycles.

As a result, the poll can influence the results, particularly in a multi-candidate race, where voters may move from one candidate to another based on their perception of which one has momentum and whose chances are fading.

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The poll results were unveiled at an event in Des Moines Saturday evening.

Poll respondents said by 35 percent to 24 percent that Trump was more likely than Cruz to win a general election. Those Republican voters also said that Trump was most likely to bring change to Washington and cause fear among U.S. enemies. Cruz won the matchup on who had the best experience to be president.