Republican Party presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are in a virtual dead heat in the midwestern U.S. state of Iowa, and have a considerable lead over all the other candidates, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.
Businessman Trump leads the Republican field in the new poll with 31 percent, followed closely by Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas, with 29 percent. The difference is within the poll's margin of error of 4 percentage points. The next closest contender is Marco Rubio of Florida with 15 percent.
The poll mirrors another survey taken Sunday by NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist, which also shows Trump and Cruz in a close race in Iowa, but puts Cruz on top.
FILE - Republican U.S. presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump (L) speaks as Senator Ted Cruz (R) looks on during the Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, Dec. 15, 2015.
The latest poll shows that likely voters in Iowa believe Trump can best handle the economy, terrorism and illegal immigration. Cruz is seen as best on foreign policy and is also seen as more honest and empathetic.
Iowa holds its caucuses February 1, the first test for the presidential candidates. The New Hampshire primary follows on February 9.
Recent polls show that Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders also are locked in a close race in Iowa, as well as New Hampshire.