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Cruz Leads the GOP Pack in New Iowa Poll

Ben Carson has plummeted 19 points since the same poll in October.

A new poll shows Texas Sen. Ted Cruz surging into first place in Iowa as Republican presidential hopefuls jockey for position in the key early caucus state.

The Monmouth University poll shows Cruz with the support of 24 percent of likely caucus-goers, ahead of Donald Trump (at 19 percent) and Marco Rubio (at 17 percent.)

Cruz's support has jumped by 14 points since October. But retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who led the same poll two months ago, has dropped 19 points to just 13 percent support now.

Jeb Bush receives just six percent support in the new survey, with Rand Paul (four percent), Carly Fiorina (three percent) and John Kasich (three percent) behind.

Cruz's advantage includes a lead among Iowa's sizable evangelical population. Thirty percent of evangelical voters back the Texas senator, versus 18 percent who back Trump, 16 percent who back Rubio and 15 percent who back Carson.

In October, Carson held the lead with the evangelical voting bloc, getting 36 percent support.