The latest InsiderAdvantage survey of Iowa shows Donald Trump leading by a significant margin among likely caucus participants. The poll, utilizing cell/texts, surveyed 850 likely voters and was conducted December 18-19. It is weighted for age, race and gender. The margin of error is 4.36%, with a 95% confidence level.

The results are:

Donald Trump: 49%

Ron DeSantis: 17%

Nikki Haley: 17%

Vivek Ramaswamy: 5%

Chris Christie: 4%

Asa Hutchinson: 1%

Undecided: 7%

Among self-identified evangelical Christians, Trump led with 48% versus 22% for DeSantis and 15% for Haley. According to exit polls from the last contested Iowa Caucus, evangelical Christians made up over sixty-percent of the vote.

InsiderAdvantage Chairman Matt Towery: “We have polled these Iowa caucuses since 2004 in both competitive Democrat and Republican contests. One thing I have learned over time is that, because of the nature of this unique process, the results almost always end up closer than the final average of the polls prior to the actual caucuses. Many polls have Donald Trump between forty-five percent and the low fifty-percent range. If Trump actually performed at this level it would definitely buck past trends and suggest that national polling in the contest is pretty much on target. However, it would be wise for the Trump team to set lower expectations given the nature of the caucus system and past history. In 2016, a failure on the part of even Iowa’s top pollsters to consider the size of evangelical Christian participation and the potential for caucus voters to change their minds, or make their minds up, in the eleventh hour led to underestimates of support for Ted Cruz. The potential level of turnout by evangelical Christians, at present, appears to not be an issue this time around. However, thirty-six percent of respondents say they are open to changing their support before the day of the caucuses. Combined with the seven percent of respondents who say that they are undecided, there is room for this race to compress a bit. Ironically the expectations set by Trump and his campaign before Iowa will frame whether, say a win at forty-one or forty-two percent, rather than over fifty percent, creates a media mantra that “Trump underperformed” or more traditionally provides a narrative of ‘a substantial victory’ at that slightly lower final vote percentage.”

Crosstabs to come shortly.  

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