In the first major-outlet non-Internet poll since the Republican primary debate last week, it's almost not surprising that CNN/ORC finds Donald Trump retaining the lead in Iowa. Almost. It's still a bit surprising, given Trump's wobbly handling of criticism during the event.
So Trump's up — and Ben Carson has moved into second in the first caucus state. For months, Scott Walker held a sizeable lead in the state. Walker's now in third, according to CNN, with Carly Fiorina, winner of the pre-game debate, jumping into fifth behind Ted Cruz.
Teflon Donald Trump. A tale that's months old by now. When you dig into the poll, though, some other staggering Trump leads emerge.
He's preferred almost 4-to-1 on issues related to the economy. Fiorina comes in a not-very-close second.
Trump is preferred over 3-to-1 on immigration, with Ted Cruz (who's had Trump's back on the issue) in second.
He's seen as stronger on battling terrorism than any other Republican.
And on the question of who can bring change to Washington? Trump's up almost 5-to-1 over the second-place Carson.
Again: This is one poll and it's just Iowa. We've seen Trump's support hovering in the low-20s for a while, though, which has prompted some (me) to wonder if that's the cap on his base of support. If nearly 40 percent see him as the best hope to fix the economy -- or nearly half think he'll fix Washington? -- that assumption may prove to be faulty.
Mind you, Trump isn't the leader on a few other issues. On abortion, for example, he's third, which is still pretty impressive given his background on the issue (he was once very pro-abortion rights).
On who best represents Republican values, he's second to Carson.
But on a critical question: Who voters think can defeat the Democrat, whoever she is, next November -- Trump wins there, too.
Combine Trump's strength on all of those issues with the perception that, 1) he can win in November, and 2) change Washington once he arrives? No wonder he's leading in the polls.