A majority of likely Iowa caucus voters said former President Trump was their top choice in the pivotal contest kicking off primary season.
A total of 51% of voters said Trump would be their first pick, according to the survey conducted by Iowa State University and polling firm Civiqs.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was second with 14% support, while former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was the first choice of 10% of likely voters.
There was a closer dogfight for voter’s second-choice options.
In that category, DeSantis led with 21% support, followed by entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy at 18%.
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott garnered 16% while Trump placed fourth with 13%.
Voters were also asked about candidates they opposed.
Of that group, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was the most unpopular with nearly a third of Iowa voters saying they were against his candidacy.
Christie has been the most high-profile major GOP candidate to regularly attack Trump in the Republican field.
Former Vice President Pence and Trump himself also generated highly negative feelings among Hawkeye state voters.
The Iowa caucus is scheduled for Jan. 15, 2024.
“The race right now is clearly President Trump, a small second tier of four candidates — DeSantis, Haley, Ramaswamy, and Scott — and then a lot of candidates without much support at all,” said Iowa State University Professor Dave Peterson, “Trump’s lead is strong, but it also might be something of a ceiling because most Iowans have strong opinions about him.”
The poll was conducted between September 2-7 and had a sample size of 434 likely Republican Iowa caucus attendees.
The margin of error was 5.8%.