Recent polling demonstrates convincingly that support levels for Donald Trump have risen markedly both in Iowa and nationally since Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Trump on January 19th.
Fox News polls of Iowa voters show that whereas Ted Cruz previously held a 4% margin over Donald Trump in the last survey on January 8th, it is now Trump who holds an 11% lead in Iowa in the poll that was released today.
Both Fox surveys used the same methodology and were conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research and Shaw & Company Research.
Although many predicted Palin’s endorsement would sway evangelical voters away from Cruz, that subset of Iowa voters appears to remain virtually unchanged for Cruz. And while Trump’s evangelical support has risen dramatically, it has been peeled away from lesser candidates. Not from Senator Cruz. Those evangelicals who were supporting Cruz mostly remain intact.
Two groups who have switched their support significantly in recent days are Iowa women, and those voters who identify with the Tea Party. Numbers in both of these voter subsets have unquestionably moved towards Trump. Among Iowa women we see a huge swing of 20 percent. With Tea Party supporters, the shift to Trump is a mind-whopping 33 percent.
Nationally, the daily tracking poll conducted by Reuters News shows a similar phenomenon. Support among Republican voters nationwide rose 7% for Trump, while numbers for Cruz dropped 6%. This equivalency is indicative of a very strong correlation between the support levels for these two candidates. Results for Rubio, Carson, and Bush remained relatively static, which further demonstrates that support shifted directly from Cruz to Trump.
That this national shift in a few short days is directly attributable to Palin is open to debate. Trump and Cruz have continued to compete aggressively for voters. National Review’s attempt to gouge support away from Trump may have backfired. Over the past few days, Palin’s endorsement and the National Review effort are the only major events to have occurred outside of the individual candidates efforts that could be seen as having an impact on the race on a national level.
While the question has yet to be asked by any polling outfit regarding Sarah Palin’s influence upon voters decision making process, it is more than interesting to note that in the Fox News surveys of Iowa voters, we have two subsets available of groups most likely to identify with Palin. Women voters, and those supportive of the Tea Party. Both of these groups show a significant shift toward Trump since the endorsement.
In any regard, what is undeniable is that since Sarah Palin gave Donald Trump her seal of enthusiastic approval, Trump is measurably closer to the Republican nomination.